Ascension Parish students donate to kids affected by Hurricane Laura

Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 5:23 PM CDT
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ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - In Ascension Parish, students in Christie Freshwater’s 4th grade class at Lakeside Primary School are bringing in donations to give to those affected by Hurricane Laura, which made landfall exactly two weeks ago on Aug. 27.

Freshwater teaches math and science, but now she has taken on a new responsibility: coordinating a school-wide donation drive to bring in items for people struggling to recover from the hurricane.

“So many of our school families and faculty members were affected by the floods in 2016, so we thought it was really important to teach our kids how to give back to the community and help others, so it was a really valuable lesson,” said Freshwater.

All donations are going to Iowa, Louisiana. It’s a smaller community, with a population of about 3,500 people. One of the student’s teachers has family there, so the children were eager to step in and help.

Garrett Messina teaches 4th grade, but seeing all the students participate in this donation to help his family and the town is very touching for him.

“They just kind of took off. I mean, they saw the list and some of them said, ‘Okay, I know what I’m going to bring.’ So any items they brought, it was very helpful,” he said.

Freshwater says some of the students used their own money to buy donations, and those students giving back say they learned a valuable lesson.

Madison Dotson is one of those students. She says she’s proud of herself and her class for stepping up to the challenge.

“I feel good about myself and for my class because even though we weren’t able to go over there and help build their houses because we’re so small, just that little kind thing we did will help everybody,” she said.

Students brought in various donations like clothing, canned goods, baby items, and pet food. For Freshwater’s students, it was a valuable lesson about giving back to those in need.

“I just hope that they take away, find a need, anytime there is a need, try to be part of the solution and help others, even if it’s a small thing, someone needs help and you might be able to help them,” said Freshwater.

The Cajun Navy 2016 will deliver the items students brought in on Saturday, Sept. 12.

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