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Joplin Students Use Penny Drives to Raise Funds for Texas - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Students Use Penny Drives to Raise Funds for Texas

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Joplin, MO -


Elementary and middle school students in Joplin are working to raise money for hurricane relief in Texas. For some students who lived through the Joplin tornado,  there's true understanding of what it’s like to lose it all.

Jocellyn Hund and her friends hung posters to promote their penny drive at North Middle School. For Hund, the devastation in Texas is something she understands after experiencing the tornado in 2011 as an eight year old.

She explained, "I just remember coming up and seeing nothing. Like  nothing at all. And I lost everything. I lost my favorite teddy bear. His name was Browny."
So with giant plastic jars for sixth, seventh and eighth grade classes, they're raising funds through a penny drive contest.

It started as Tatiana Potter’s idea. "It makes me feel good whenever we give back to the community because so many people gave to us. It was just so heartwarming and loving of them and caring, " she said.

At Eastmorland elementary, third grader Logan Friend pushed for penny wars there.
Logan was inspired by a discussion in class about how anyone big or small can make a difference especially after seeing Texas on television. "That's a lot of flood, a lot of water!  So, I want to help them,"  he thought.

A classmate sold part of a toy collection on Facebook raising eighty-five dollars the first day. Even though they don't remember the tornado, they still saw the generosity.

Third grade teacher Janet Parker explained,  "At least fifty to maybe seventy-five percent of our kids were hit (by the Joplin tornado)  so our building wasn't necessarily hit, but the area we are in, they were hit. So, they remember what we have received so we are definitely giving back."

Parker's class is taking  the penny drive a step further including a pet food drive and  even writing letters to veterinarians for financial support to ship the cat and dog food to Texas.

After Joplin’s tornado, Jocellyn's  family stayed in a shelter and were given donations. She knows it makes a difference.  "When people helped us out, like here's some clothes and here's some other things, it actually felt nice. It felt like someone loved you,  no matter what. And it made you forget about what was actually happening."

They'll help do that one penny at a time.
    
Parker said her  class will send donations to help two former Joplin teachers now living in Houston. One was evacuated and the other lost her home.

She also plans to do some videoconferencing with the teachers so the students see how their donations will make a difference helping others and  in rebuilding.

 

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