Students helping students

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- The House, a local homeless teen organization, has seen the number of homeless teens on Grand Junction streets triple.

Homeless students in schools have been increasing, partially due to the increase outreach efforts in the Grand Valley.

"If they don't have heater or a house and they don't have socks or anything they will get really cold, if they get really cold they might get sick,” said Zachary Heaton, a fifth grader.

According to District 51, there are about 20 students at R-5 who are without a permanent home and hundreds district-wide.

“There are kids that don't go home, that can't go home to a nice warm shelter and have lots of food like we can, it’s a very big deal, and some people don't know about it,” said Brooklyn Winkler, a Pear Park National Honors Society member.

Santa is not the only one filling stockings this holiday season. A group of students are helping to share the holiday spirit.

They filled 200 stocks with hygiene products to donate to R-5 High School.

"They don't get to go home,” said C.T. Suskey, a fourth grader. "There's toothpaste tooth brush, there is Chapstick, conditioner and floss, and shampoo."

R-5 student leaders received the donation and thanked the students for helping tier peers.

“I think it’s amazing that from the kindness of your hearts you guys have done this. You are helping plenty of students my fellow class mates. You guys are paving the way for your generation, and I want you guys to continue doing what you’re doing,” said Jacob an R-5 student.

"This means the world to our kids, it takes a lot of stress off them as well,” said Clay Keithley, a teacher at R-5.

Pear Park also donated the other half to another homeless center Joseph Center.

"It is the giving time, but this is really Pear Park 365 days of the year. This is community that just continues to give and give and give," said Dan Bunnell, principal at Pear Park.

"Giving to the community and other kids it feel really good inside, because you know you're doing good,” said Zachary.

The students gathered donations from local businesses to get those hygiene supplies.

Some of the donation came from Jolly Smiles, Marillac Clinic, as well as Hampton Inn, truly a community effort.

Any family in district 51 that is homeless can contact the Resources, Education, and Advocacy for Children who are Homeless program (R.E.A.C.H.).

The R.E.A.C.H. Program helps with school enrollment, they can help students with free school meals, transportation, and connections to community resources. You can contact them at 970-254-5488.



 
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