GREENFIELD — Austin and Caleb Kincer were in the car when they first saw the damage Hurricane Harvey left.
They were watching a video on Twitter showing destruction across Houston, Texas, and the young boys immediately wanted to find a way to help.
They imagined what it might be like had Hurricane Harvey hit Greenfield, leaving their family with nothing — or worse, dead or injured, said Austin, a fifth-grader at Greenfield Intermediate School.
So they came up with a plan: They would collect toiletries, clothing and food the displaced Texans would need. Then they asked their principal, Devon Marine, for help.
The school’s Kiwanis Kids Club voted to sponsor the donation drive and asked Maxwell Intermediate School’s Kiwanis Kids Club to join.
The group contacted the Midwest Food Bank in Indianapolis about bringing donations there to later be dropped off in Texas and launched a donation drive at school.
Marine contacted other Hancock County schools, and before long, others jumped on board. Now, more than 15 schools across the county, the Midwest Food Bank and Salvation Army are helping collect donations to aid Harvey victims.
Now through Friday, Hancock County residents can help by dropping items off at the Fraternal Order of Police building, 400 E. Davis Road, Greenfield, and students across the county can bring donated items to school.
Items requested include cases of bottled water, non-perishable food items, clothing, small toys, bedding and personal care items.
Later this week, Austin and Caleb, a sixth-grader at the intermediate school, will tag along to haul the collection to Indianapolis, where a truck will be waiting to take the donations to Texas.
Their goal is simple. They want to collect as many goods as possible, and they need the community’s help, they said.
Austin has even pledged $30 of his own money to buy canned food, he said.
“If we were them, we would be sad,” he said.
Across the county, McCordsville Elementary School is planning a similar effort. Now, every Mt. Vernon School Corp. building is collecting donations.
McCordsville Elementary Principal Stephanie Miller said hosting the donation drive gives teachers and staff the opportunity to teach the district’s youngest learners about empathy and helping others in their time of need.
Kanyonrae Kenny, a fifth-grader at McCordsville Elementary, said she’s excited to help. She has family — aunts, uncles and cousins — who live in Houston. Though they’re OK, many people weren’t so lucky, she said.
“There’s a lot of people out there still suffering, and they need help,” she said.
Schools across Hancock County have teamed up with the Midwest Food Bank of Indianapolis to collect donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Community members can take donations to the Fraternal Order of Police in Greenfield, 400 E. Davis Road through Friday.
- Cases of bottled water
- Non-perishable food items
- Baby food and formula
- Diapers and wipes
- Personal care items
- Hygiene products
- New bedding
- New socks & shoes
- New clothes and underwear
- New toys and small stuffed animals
- First aid items
- Paper products