GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It started as a class project that's now growing beyond the walls of the classroom.
Students at Bayou View Middle School are organizing a drive to gather donations for those less fortunate.
"It's just such a good feeling to help other people. They need this and we get to be the ones to help them," said Marissa Wingerter.
Teacher Laura Allen gives her gifted class time each week for a genius project. It's an opportunity for the students to focus on whatever they want.
For students Marissa Wingerter and Mason D'Angelo, they just wanted to help others.
"I want to do this because it's nice and it's helpful to the community, and most homeless people do not get a choice to be homeless or to have nice things and stuff," said D'Angelo.
They're teaming up with Shepherd of the Gulf's founder, Lynda Favre. She has spent years delivering hot meals, clothing and blankets to the homeless. On Tuesday, she talked to the class about the needs of the homeless.
"I'm very proud that these young people want to help protect these people that are vulnerable," said Favre.
They're getting the entire school involved and turning it into a competition.
"There are about 862 kids in our school. So, if we get about 800 donations, that would be crazy. But, we're hoping for about 200 donations," said Wingerter.
Big goals for these students. That's no surprise to Laura Allen - who says her students also have big hearts.
"They are the most giving, loving and most compassionate students. This is why I love getting up and doing what I do," said Allen.
The community can also drop off donations to Bayou Middle during school hours.