Northwest students help ‘Fill the Bus’ for tornado relief

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Northwest students help ‘Fill the Bus’ for tornado relief

Northwest students pose with Superintendent Sharon Contreras at Target. The students were collecting school supplies and donations for tornado relief.

Northwest students pose with Superintendent Sharon Contreras at Target. The students were collecting school supplies and donations for tornado relief.

Northwest students pose with Superintendent Sharon Contreras at Target. The students were collecting school supplies and donations for tornado relief.

Northwest students pose with Superintendent Sharon Contreras at Target. The students were collecting school supplies and donations for tornado relief.

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On Saturday, April 21, a team of 11 Northwest students volunteered at Target on New Garden Rd. from 8 to 5 p.m. to ask customers to donate school supplies to support The Greensboro Tornado Relief. The goal was to “Fill the Bus.”

After seeing the effects the tornado had on his community, sophomore Kema Leonard decided to take action.

“The main reason I wanted to do this is because I heard about the three schools that were affected and I thought maybe we can get school supplies for them,” Leonard said.

Leonard and his mother, Karen Crawford, were driving back to Greensboro after All-State Chorus when they saw the effect of the tornado.

“I saw all these houses beat up and in the street, cars torn up, power lines hanging. We saw people running out of their houses trying to figure out if everything was okay,” Leonard said. “I just thought, ‘I have to do something. What can I do, what can I do?’”

Leonard got in contact with Louise Courts, the Director of Development at Guilford Education Alliance, who helped him set everything up with Target.

“We needed to make sure that we could stay there and not loiter on their property and get supplies for the schools,” Leonard said.

All across the county, there were four other school buses in Targets and Walmarts doing the same thing as well. The team of 11 Northwest students set up a table and handed out flyers with the most needed school supplies for the affected schools and encourage shoppers to buy the supplies.

“People were really willing and eager to help and I think it was because tornadoes don’t happen that often in Greensboro or North Carolina so it is very important to react well to that and support those who have been affected,” sophomore Krystyna Derezinski-Choo said.

With the help of the volunteers and the shoppers, the school bus was filled and over $3,000 were collected in donations.

“At first, I thought we would need at least 40 people to get any decent activity done, but that wasn’t the case,” Leonard said. “We had about 11 people, not counting the Guilford County people from the city, who raised over $3,000 and filled the bus.”

Leonard contributes the success to the volunteers.

“We were able to take it to the next level,” Leonard said. “I think a reason that it was so successful was because we were teenagers asking for help instead of adults. The people there were really cooperative they were very good at working together and we got a lot of stuff done.

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