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Athens Drive students and staff donate to James Kenan High School

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Athens Drive students and staff donate to James Kenan High School

Vanessa Martin, Editor-in-chief

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In just two days, students at Athens Drive Magnet High were able to collect a bus full of donations for students and families at James Kenan High School in Warsaw, N.C. who suffered from Hurricane Florence. After the donations were collected, a group of students who were nominated by their teachers gathered before school Fri. Sept. 28 to deliver the supplies to James Kenan.

All together ADMHS was able to collect and donate over 5,000 dollars in cash and checks to the principal of James Kenan. Shirts and drawstring bags were donated by the ADMHS band and given to their principal. A large amount of personal hygiene supplies, such as toothbrushes and feminine hygiene products, that were donated by students and their families were given to the Hurricane Relief Center for Duplin County.

“Immediately following the Hurricane, I had several staff members and students approach me and ask if the school can do something to assist those that were impacted by the Hurricane. Some staff members and students had connections to people in Eastern North Carolina and they felt it was important that we do something. I completely agreed with them, and I felt that it might help us raise more donations and be more impactful to our students and school family if we were able to target a specific school to support, instead of just raising funds/donations for the general area. I reached out to a friend of mine who is the Principal at James Kenan High School in Duplin County since that County was hit hard by the Hurricane, had suffered the most deaths from the storm, and then had been hit hard by the flooding. I asked him how things were, and he said the area was devastated,” said Steven Mares, principal at Athens Drive.

A total of 29 students helped to represent Athens Drive. They represented different areas and clubs within the school. The volunteer students loaded up activity buses before 7 a.m. that morning. Upon their arrival, the students were split into groups to help aid the community.

“As we were driving up to the fire station, you started noticing that outside of the houses people had basically just ripped out everything that was in the houses and everything that they owned and had just piled it up in their driveways. We also saw that miles and miles of crops had just been destroyed and flooded out, as far as the eye could see,” said Maddy Desautels, junior.

After students and staff reached the Hurricane Relief Center which was set up in the Wallace fire station, everyone split into four groups. They then worked to distribute donations, clean out houses and assist volunteer firefighters in their own homes.

“I am inspired by the response of the entire Athens Drive family to the needs of those James Kenan High School families and the families of Duplin County. This concept was put together quickly, and yet everybody was so giving and generous. I am humbled and inspired to be a part of such a caring school family who are willing to help others in this way,” said Mares.

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