Students at small school give up part of Christmas to help burne - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Students at small school give up part of Christmas to help burned children

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GREENE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Support for two children who were burned in a explosion is now spreading beyond the coast. A teacher at a small school in Greene County saw WLOX's coverage about the Myers children and how they were severely burned in a fire at their Harrison County home two weeks ago. When she told her students about it, they decided to give up a part of their Christmas to help the family.

On one side of Highway 63 in Greene County sits Sand Hill School. Hats are not allowed at the K-8 grade school. But on Friday, more than half the heads were covered.

"I wanted to help out Katelyn and their family, because they're in the hospital and they got burnt," said Ivy Mclain.

The students donated $1.00 for the privilege of wearing a hat. Hat Day was a fund raiser for Katelyn and Tyler Myers of Harrison County. The brother and sister are being treated for second and third degree burns at a burn center in Augusta, Georgia.  

A family member told WLOX-News that Tyler, 12, is out of his coma. Doctors woke him up and removed the ventilator and feeding tube after surgery Thursday. His sister Katelyn, 8, had another surgery Friday to remove dead skin. She remains in a coma and hooked-up to a ventilator and feeding tube. Both children are still in critical, but stable condition.

The students at Sand Hill School raised about $293.00 through their hat campaign. But their generosity does not end there. What the third graders are doing at the school is truly amazing.

Every year, the third graders exchange Christmas gifts with each other. But, instead of buying gifts this year, all the third graders chose to donate their money to the Myers family.

"They're still from Mississippi, and we still want to help them don't we?" asked their teacher Lori Duiett.

"Yes, ma'am," the children responded.

"These boys and girls said Mrs. Dueitt, we don't want our presents. We want to give that to Tyler and to Katelyn. And it blessed my heart and I thank god for them. These are small children, but they have huge hearts," said Dueitt.

When asked why he was willing to give up his present, third grader Conner West replied, "So they can have a good Christmas and we can give them money. We're already going to get presents for Christmas and they're probably not."

"Because we want to give them money so they can pay for their bills and gas and food and for the medicine," said third grader Cameron Dunnam. "They got burned real, real bad and just want to raise money for them so they could get better."

Third grader Dylan Byrd even made paper footballs and sold them for 50 cents each.

"I sold a bunch of them," said Dylan.

He raised $20 from his sales.

"It feels good," Dylan said.

Along with their donations, the third graders are also making get-well cards. All that support is for two children in Long Beach they don't even know.

"Get well soon. We are praying for you. Hope you feel better soon. Merry Christmas, we love you," Ivy read from her card.

"I know this is a small amount compared to the debt and how much it costs to live. I hope this is a little bit to show the Myers family that we do care. We're two hours away, but we do care," said Dueitt.

Sand Hill School has raised close to $500 so far.  The children will continue to donate money through next Friday.  Mrs. Dueitt's brother, who lives in Georgia, will then present the donations and cards to the Myers family.

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