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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.