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Students collect supplies for return to school

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- Students across the area are pulling together to help other students affected by the tornado.
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- Students across the area are pulling together to help other students affected by the tornado. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more.

Some of the things on their collection list are school supplies. Gifford students will head back to class Monday. Many are probably missing supplies, but also a lot more than that, so students in Champaign and Tolono say they're happy to help fill the need.

Singing can sometimes help put a smile on your face, but if that's doesn't do the trick, maybe this message will -- "United we stand." That's the tune Champaign Centennial students were singing on Friday. Centennial NHS students came together to collect things for others their age. They gave up their own comfort to supply necessities.

"Some buddies and I went out to Walgreen's and we used the rest of our lunch money to buy some toilet paper because she said that was one of the supplies they needed," said Centennial football quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald. 

The students also asked businesses for donations.

"I wanted to help them the best I could so I asked around and people started helping," said Centennial NHS vice president Nathan Martin.

Dentists gave toothbrushes and toothpaste. Hotels added piles of pint-sized toiletries.

Shampoo from salons got divided into cups from Panera.

"You get some from here and there, so you have a good supply to give to these people who need it," said Centennial NHS president Destiny Norris.  

All items were collected this week and ready to head out the door.

"It's just really nice to have a sense of community to pull together and help other people out," said Norris. 

As that project winds down, another is starting up.

"All those things you would buy on the first day of school for your child are probably things these people need," said Unity West English teacher Deany Cheatum. 

The Tolono District is collecting school supplies for the next two weeks. They want everyone in the area to get involved.

"Whenever entire communities can get together and just pull resources and give, just like this, it's just an amazing thing," said Unity West senior Craig Kocher. 

It's an important lesson as students learn to help those in need.

Students from Rantoul came to pick up the personal care items from Centennial on Friday to take to Gifford.

If you want to drop off school supplies, you can take them to any school in the Tolono District between now and December 6. 
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