Reporting Jason Allen
SOUTH OKLAHOMA CITY (CBSDFW.COM) – In a matter of hours Wednesday, the entrance of a South Oklahoma City Church was overwhelmed.
Stuffed animals, backpacks, and books came in by the bag full. All items for kids, it was appropriate then that most of the donors, were kids. One by one, boys and girls walked in with their parents and added something new to the stack.
Devonne Davis suggested her five-year-old son Kaden bring in a toy. He responded “You can get every single one.”
Organizers set out with a specific deadline of Thursday at 8 a.m. to put together 1,200 backpacks. The number, matched the number of kids who attended the two schools destroyed in Monday’s tornado. Every one will get one, to replace what they lost in a split second Monday.
Robin Bennett, a parent and PTA member at Wayland Bonds Elementary school, said it occurred to parents that there would be no last day of school for those kids. The district cancelled school for the year after Monday. Then they decided to let students return to schools Thursday, to get things left behind when parents picked them up in a rush after the storm.
Students from Plaza Towers and Briarwood, who have no school to go back to, will instead say goodbye to their teachers at friends at two host schools in town. Parents didn’t want them to go home with nothing.
“We’re thinking, we can’t just invite them in to say goodbye to their friends and their teachers, at our school, and not make it special,” Bennet said. “It needs to be special.”
She said other kids understood the idea.
One four and a half year old boy came with hands full of crayons, and told her he wanted to give them to someone who wanted to color.
Bennett expected to have the packs ready, even with only 36 hours to do it. Aided by a Facebook campaign, companies from both coasts had called and offered to overnight any items needed to fill any gap in donations.
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