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Treasure Valley Students Send Toys, Clothes To North Carolina Flood Victims

Bonnie Lindgren
Gateways School, Nampa School District
One of the notes written by students at Gateways School in Nampa to students in North Carolina impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew caused record flooding in North Carolina this fall, destroying homes, businesses and government buildings. After seeing the suffering of people across the country, a group of young Idahoans decided to offer some relief.

Bonnie Lindgren’s six students didn’t know about Hurricane Matthew until she showed them videos of the damage caused by the giant storm. Lindgren is a teacher at Gateways School in Nampa, and works with students who have behavioral and emotional challenges.

“There was one scene that we watched where a man was saying, ‘I got out with my family and the clothes on my back,' " says Lindgren. "So I was probing the kids, ‘what does that mean, the clothes on my back?’ One of the kids said, ‘Does that mean just what he was wearing?’ Then they decided we could help by getting them clothes.”

Lindgren says her third, fourth and fifth grade students came up with the idea to hold a district-wide drive for kids impacted by the storm in North Carolina. She says since mid-October, they’ve gathered 700 pounds of clothing and stuffed animals. The teacher says her students’ efforts will provide clothing to about 50 kids.

“But there were a lot of boxes of stuffed animals, and that’s going to help way more than the 50 or 60 kids.”

The students packed the goods in boxes, and after a generous discount, were able to ship them Saturday by FedEx. Lindgren put the $1,200 shipping costs on her credit card, but she’s confident people will come forward to help pay the bill.

Lindgren says the process of gathering and sending gifts has taught her students a valuable lesson.

“It’s helped a dozen kids in Nampa learn about giving. And that was the best part.”

The clothes and toys are set to arrive today in Lumberton, North Carolina.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio