River Bend Middle School students send supplies to Puerto Rico

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Friday, November 10, 2017
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River Bend Middle students collected supplies to send to Puerto Rico.

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Hundreds of items are being shipped to Puerto Rico from Wake County thanks to weeks of hard work from students and teachers.

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Wake Forest 4 Puerto Rico is a group that has been working tirelessly to collect and send supplies since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. Jillian Leroy is part of that group and has been reaching out to her education community for help.

"Every time we send a box, we're getting pictures back from people we've reached out to," Leroy said.

Puerto Rico residents show the packages they received from Wake Forest 4 Puerto Rico.

River Bend Middle School is the latest school to help. Students and teachers collected more than 600 items.

"They really showed up," said Victoria Fernandez, a teacher at River Bend. "You could tell that the kids care so much, you could tell, especially our Hispanic students. They said 'that could be us, they're one of us; we have to help them.' "

Puerto Rico residents show the packages they received from Wake Forest 4 Puerto Rico.

Fernandez said her students were really the driving force behind the collection drive. She said she simply brought up the idea and they took off with it.

"They came up with the idea to have the can-collecting contest, to put boxes around, they decided where they wanted to advertise posters where they thought the students would see it the most," Fernandez said.

The items donated include diapers, hygiene products, and canned goods. They'll be shipped to Puerto Rico soon.

The students are already looking forward to hosting another donation drive for the holidays.

Durant Road Middle School held a similar drive and when Leroy spoke at a town hall meeting in Rolesville, local leaders agreed to put out donation boxes as well.