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Appleton kids collect 4,800 donations for The Salvation Army

Posted at 9:10 AM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 10:13:50-05

APPLETON (NBC26) — Appleton middle school students Gavin Wiese, 12, and Macy Hartjes, 13, put together a few boxes to donate to The Salvation Army last thanksgiving. This year, they collected donations again, and ended up filling an entire truck.

“We started this last year on a half day of school, we were just trying to find something to do," said Wiese." And we thought this was a good idea, and I think we’re going to keep doing this for many more years now. It’s great that people can realize what they have that other people don’t have.”

This year, they ended up donating 4,800 items, something they didn’t think would be possible during a pandemic. In addition to all the food items for The Salvation Army, the kids also collected hundreds of blankets and books for the Community Clothes Closet.

“We got way more than we expected," said Hartjes. "There were a bunch of other food drives going on and stuff to help the community so we didn’t think we were going to get as much help as we did."

The kids spent all of November handing out and posting fliers, putting donation bins out in several neighborhoods, then spending an entire morning with friends and parents, loading boxes onto salvation army trucks.

“It feels really good," said Hartjes. "I think it just says that anybody can do whatever they want.”

The kids did almost everything on their own, said Jessica Hartjes.

“It’s been exciting, our garage kept filling and filling and we got to the point where we were just anxious to start to get it in the appropriate hands," she said. "As a mom, it’s just really something to be proud of to see your kids reaching out and doing something for the good for the community.”