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North Carolina students raise $25k for SC flood victims

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By Eric Wildstein Gaston (NC) Gazette staff Students are sending aid to South Carolina flood victims. Gaston’s public schools in North Carolina are donating nearly $25,000 to help school children affected by flooding in two South Carolina counties. Students districtwide made donations during the school system’s Nickels 4 Neighbors campaign last week. “I had the pleasure of visiting some of the elementary schools while it was going on and this was truly the kids,” said Superintendent of Schools Jeff Booker. “Adults made contributions, as well, but to see the kids come in with Ziploc bags with change in it and to participate … it was truly a great thing to see.”

All 55 Gaston public schools and the central office participated in the campaign. The school district challenged each school to collect $200, a mark they far exceeded. The money will go to help students in Clarendon and Williamsburg counties. Both suffered heavy flood damage to businesses, homes and roads. Clarendon School District 2 Superintendent John Tindal said the money will help provide families with anything they may need to recover from the devastation. “Many of the school children and their families have lost everything, including items the children need for school,” said school spokesman Todd Hagans. Gaston’s Principal Leadership Team spear-headed the campaign to collect donations. The team is an elected body of about 15 public school principals and assistant principals who meet monthly to discuss issues in the school system. Group member Rebecca Huffstetler, principal of Southwest Middle School, says the campaign taught an important lesson about lending a helping hand. “Not only does it help our neighbors in South Carolina, but it teaches our students, and I believe our teachers and administrators as well, about the importance of helping others in a time of need and showing kindness and compassion,” she said.

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