Hancock Co special needs class raises most for Sandy victims - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock Co special needs class raises most for Sandy victims

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HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

We have a heart-warming story about a South Mississippi school that wanted to send donations to people devastated by Hurricane Sandy. 

South Hancock Elementary held a Thanksgiving fundraiser to help families in New York. One class surprised everyone by raising the most money. That class of tiny tots at South Hancock Elementary really knows how to defy the odds. They may be small in number, but the students have proven they can take on the biggest of challenges.

"It was kind of like the little class that could," said Casey St. Claire-Rumore, a parent of one of the students.

This month, the school PTO held a Thanksgiving competition to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York.

"There was a group of 25 firemen in New York who joined forces to provide gifts and clothing and items for the families in our area after Hurricane Katrina," said South Hancock Elementary Principal Jennifer Seymour. "This year, instead of them giving, we thought we'd do a flip flop and we would return the favor."

So the PTO sold paper turkey feathers for 50-cents each.  In just three weeks, the school raised a total of $1,700. Surprisingly, the class that raised the most money is also the smallest class at the school.

"It's just phenomenal. I have no words to describe that feeling. It's about having heart," said Seymour.

The class, with only nine students, raised more than $1,200. What makes this feat even more amazing is that the students in the class are special needs pre-kindergartners.

Four-year-old Ellah St. Claire Rumore and her mom used Facebook to seek donations. The adorable girl suffers from a rare brain disorder. She is also legally blind and deaf.

"They're more at a disadvantage and they are kind of just left out and kind of swept under the rug," said Casey St. Claire Rumore. "It just made my heart smile to know that her face was the one that everybody saw and said, ‘You know what? I'm going to donate for such a good cause.'"

The funds will be used to purchase $20 gift cards for firefighters to distribute in New York. The little ones are learning how they can make a big difference, and it's their turn to give thanks.

For raising the most money, Ellah's class will also receive a reward -- a pizza party.  The second place winner will also get a pizza party.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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