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Students sent home with warm winter gear

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- The bitter blast is not only affecting our roads and daily commutes--but some of Michiana's kids have been fighting their own battle. 

With the cold sneaking up on our whole community, many were not prepared for the cold weather including many students throughout the School City of Mishawaka Schools system. 

Many of the students, at John Young Middle School for instance, walk to school or ride their bikes and with the drastic drops in temperature and some family circumstances--students were coming to school in below freezing temperatures in their fall clothes!

The school staff immediately noticed the need and sent out a staff wide email asking for donations. And counselor Cherie Smith, says withing 24 hours the staff has brought in enough coats and hats to supply most of the students in need!

However that generosity was not enough, so on Monday, the School City of Mishawaka Education Foundation put out a message on their Facebook page voicing the need for new or gently used winter gear donations for students throughout the school system. 

With over 500 shares and likes the community saw and heard the need and reacted. 

The office was busy all day with random strangers and school parents bringing in the clothes that was either new or many of their kids have out grown.

One of these generous spirits was Rima Abuhamdan, who I ran into on the way into the school! We spoke for awhile about how she was merely looking at Facebook for weather and school delay updates and happened upon the schools message. Abuhamdan said that she knew this was a "now" issue with all the snow and immediately went out to Costco. 

There Abuhamdan spent her own money and  purchased a cart full of various jackets, hats, gloves, and thermals to bring into the school. 

She said this was an easy choice to make and that she was happy to see that the school even asked for the help. Abuhamdan said that she believes the community is an incredibly giving one, but many times they do not know where or if there is a need. 

Smith and the rest of the John Young staff could not believe the incredible outpouring from the community with over 50 jackets and other various winter gear accumulated. 

And Abuhamdan hopes that people don't just isolate this warm giving feeling to the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. That asking to help can be a year round occurrence.

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