ALBANY, GA (WALB) - "The whole point of the Christmas season is to give back so we figured we'd take the opportunity to give back to those in need," said senior at Albany High School Michael Hefton.
He and other students want to help fire victims in Tennessee get back on their feet.
"I kind of know what it feels like to go through the Christmas season without this that and the other," said Hefton.
Buried underneath his varsity baseball jacket Hefton has a big heart.
When he was eight years old he lost his house to a tornado.
Three months later and just a week before Christmas, he lost his dad too.
"I mean we had almost nothing except for one vehicle and the clothes on our back," said Hefton.
After hearing stories of the victims who have lost everything to fires in Tennessee, he knew he had to help.
"I knew exactly what they were going through. It might be on different levels of stress, pain and misery but I had the same general idea of what they were feeling," explained Hefton.
When he walked into Albany High School Friday morning, with the help of his mom and fellow student council members he presented an idea to collect items for fire victims to school administrators.
"It just blew me away the fact that the time that they spent putting it together for administration," said assistant principal Jill Addison. They didn't just come ask us, they had a power-point, they had details."
Hefton and the student council will be collecting everything from money to coats and hats, shampoo and conditioner and non-perishable foods from the community.
In two weeks Hefton, a few teachers, students and parents will deliver all the items to Tennessee.
"We'll be able to give them actual material but I think we will also be able to let them know that someone is there for them and it will be a sign of relief that some else cares and someone is their to help them through their hard times," said Hefton.
If you are interested in helping out, here is a list of what they are looking for:
- warm clothes
- pillows and blankets
- stuffed animals
- coloring books, crayons and puzzles
- toothpaste and toothbrushes
- shampoo and conditioner
- toilet paper
- feminine products
- non-perishable foods
- baby items
- school supplies
- monetary donations
Donations can be dropped off at Albany High School, 801 W Residence Avenue or can be picked up.
You can contact Hefton himself at (229) 529-5388, Alaysia Wilson at (229) 529-5388 or Jil Addison at (229) 376-4082.