GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Donations from hundreds of school children in Gulfport will be heading to Louisiana Wednesday. On Monday night, the staff at Bayou View Elementary asked families for donations to help our flooded neighbors in the Baton Rouge area. They were quite surprised by the outpouring of support.
"It's overwhelming!" said Gulfport Firefighter Gary Joffrion.
Gulfport firefighters seemed amazed as they arrived Tuesday to pick up donations at Bayou View Elementary School. They saw numerous cases of bottled water and cleaning kits, even some cash. What was even more amazing was the fact that all of the supplies came from the students and parents at the school who received only 12-hours notice about the relief drive. Many families felt compelled to help the flood victims in the Baton Rouge area.
Third grader Ethan Bordelon brought in 18 cases of water.
"Because they lost everything," he said.
"I felt really bad for them, because of their houses and I think it's good that they helped us in Hurricane Katrina and it's our turn to help them," said third grader Brightyn Neher.
The children also pitched in to help load the supplies onto a large trailer.
"It feels really good," said Ethan.
"It makes me feel really happy that we're helping them," said Brightyn.
It was a lesson in generosity and compassion they wouldn't get from a textbook.
"We want our children, of course, to learn academically, but we also want them to have that caring heart and to pay it forward," said Bayou View Elementary counselor Julie Gainey.
"It feels great! I also love the fact that we're doing it through Bayou View Elementary. We're setting a great example for our kids to volunteer and to help our neighbors," said Bayou View Elementary parent Hannah Bell.
Wednesday, three 18-wheelers filled with the school's donations, along with all the other items collected by the Gulfport Fire Department, will arrive in the Baton Rouge area. Gollott & Sons provided the first two trucks and John Fayard trucking provided the third.