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Fundraising is going strong for a group of Mid-Prairie High School students planning a hurricane relief trip to North Carolina next month.
Mid-Prairie behavioral interventionist Matt Freel said that the group is about $1,500 away from its $3,500 fundraising goal.
“Fundraising is going really well,” Freel said. “We are almost to our goal.”
The group has a GoFundMe page set up to accept donations. As of Monday morning, $1,490 had been raised on that site.
In addition to the GoFundMe page, people have made donations directly to the district.
“Some people prefer not to use GoFundMe and put their information on the Internet, which we totally get,” Freel said. “People can donate by finding the GoFundMe page on the district site, or a check sent to central office.”
The group will travel to Beaufort, N.C., on Feb. 10 and return on Feb. 15.
They will stay in the basement of a Methodist church in Beaufort that has been converted to disaster relief housing center.
“We are going to be gutting houses in and preparing them for reconstruction,” Freel said. “All of the families we will be helping would otherwise not have the means to rebuild on their own.”
He explained that Beaufort and the surrounding areas are surrounded by bays, so some houses were hit as many as three times with the water rushing in and out of the ocean due to Hurricane Florence, which hit the east coast in September 2018.
The Mid-Prairie group will consist of 16 students and six adults, comprising mostly of at-risk staff and students.
Freel talked about the importance of an experience like this trip for at risk students.
“Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom,” Freel said. “Every child has talents and skills that will help them succeed in life. It is our job as educators to put them in the best possible position to find success.”
He said that there are a number of students who attach self esteem to classroom performance. Community service projects can help boost self esteem.
“We have performed multiple community service projects and the results have all been positive,” Freel said. “Everyone knows how great it feels to help someone in need.”
He said that educators have very few years to help mold the students into future parents and community members.
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