A group of Jefferson Elementary School students are looking to lessen the impact of Hurricane Harvey by making a positive impact of their own.

Dozens of students have gathered supplies and organized a relief effort to help those affected by the storm. On Tuesday, several of them visited Hy-Vee, 2400 2nd Ave, Muscatine, to procure supplies using student council funds and donations.

“This has been a great effort by the students and the community,” said Edwin Colon, school counselor. “Hy-Vee has been great in helping out and helping get supplies together with the kids and a local trucking company, TanTara Transportation Company, is donating a truck for free to take the supplies down there.

“You watch the news and you see all the devastation down there and you say we really should do something about it, and a lot of the kids at the school felt that way, so here we are,” Colon said. “I talked to the student council about it and we made it happen. It’s really just the right thing to do that needs to be done.”

“We’re from different states but we’re all part of the United States,” said Dave Riggan, safety director for TanTara. “We’ve done this before for other national tragedies, and so when they approached us about it we were happy to help.”

“It feels good to be a part of it,” said Jim Simmons, store manager of HyVee. “It’s great seeing the kids want to do this. They came in with a couple hundred dollars in their budget, but let’s just say they’re going to walk out of here with more than a couple of hundred dollars in merchandise, and we’re happy to be a part of helping those people out.”

The students likewise felt good about extending a helping hand to their fellow students in another part of the country.

“It feels good to be helping kids just like us,” said Damien Sonderberg, 10.

“It’s awesome, because we get to help out with a lot of stuff and donating food,” said Keelin Reinier, 9.

“I feel excited about it,” Giovanny Gomez, 9, said. “I feel good about myself and what we’re doing and that it’s going to help people.”

“We got to talking and thought it would be a good thing, it was just something we needed to do,” added Brenda Todd, director of the student council. “Some of these kids don’t have much but they have so much to give from their hearts.”

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