MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Clean up efforts continue Wednesday after a devastating EF5 tornado tore through parts of Oklahoma on Monday. Homes are destroyed and two elementary schools are reduced to shambles. One Milledgeville elementary school is helping its fellow students in the Sooner State get back on their feet.
914 miles away from destruction, chaos, and devastation, students at Eagle Ridge Elementary are coming together to help their fellow peers.
"Since we have all this good stuff in life, they should too," fourth grade student Jasia Jarrett said.
The school recently earned a $5,000 grant from Kroger as part of its "Earning Plus Learning" program. They won the grant thanks to their "Go for the Gold" video and now they are sharing those winnings.
"First we wanted to make an outdoor classroom and if we had any leftover money, we wanted to send it to the oklahoma school board," second grade student Evan Hitchcock said.
The group, Project H.O.P.E.—which stands for Helping Other People Everywhere—is sending $500 dollars to help rebuild homes and schools destroyed by the tornado.
"It's really helped our children see what a difference they can make in lives of others," Project H.O.P.E. Coordinator Jill Drew said.
Project H.O.P.E. also set up donation boxes to encourage teachers and students to pay it forward and donate any spare change they have.
"I had two children at 8 o'clock this morning come up to me with their dollar bill for ice cream and they wanted to give it to the Oklahoma victims," Drew said.
It is a lesson of giving back to others in need that you can't learn in textbooks.
"I know they've been seeing things on TV and on the news and they know whats going on and they just have that heart that they just want to give whatever they can give," Project H.O.P.E. coordinator Beverly Meeks said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the students have raised $675 dollars to go towards tornado victims. The will be collecting money all week long.
If you are interested in helping the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, it is asking for the following items: notebooks and paper (wide and narrow ruled), markers, crayons, glue (bottle and glue sticks), backpacks, pens and pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, erasers, highlighters, dry-erase markers, construction paper, copy paper, binders, rulers, tape, art supplies, gym supplies, desks, computers, canned goods, diapers, clothes, dog and cat food, work gloves, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodarant, hand santizer, baby wipes, baby formula, soap, sunscreen, trash bags, insect spray, brooms, and shovels.
You can mail the items to the OSSBA offices at:
Oklahoma State School Boards Assn.
2801 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 125
Oklahoma City, OK 73105