Students collecting winter clothing for kids in need

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Fifth grade student leaders at Buffalo Elementary School noticed a need in school students and have started a "Keep Kids Cozy" winter clothing drive.

Fifth graders: Lachelle Benitez, Madilynn Mcentee, Avery Luenenborg, Jace Kackmeister, Melaney Cososa, Diego Alvarez head up a 'Keep Kids Cozy' winter clothing drive at Buffalo Elementary. (Source: Holly Barraclough, KNOP TV)

The students said they saw some of their peers at school during recess or during their time walking around the school grounds before school, without gloves, hats or boots.

The Buffalo Elementary Leadership Team is collecting new and used hats, boots and gloves for anyone who might have a need.

"Last year the fifth graders did a boot drive and we wanted to add more to that," said 5th grader Lachelle Benitez, "We wanted to do a boot drive still, but we wanted to do hats and gloves too."

The school did a boot drive last year and was able to help 52 students. They said this year, they want to help even more kids.

"We don’t really have a goal," said 5th grader Madilyn Mcentee, "We know we want to help our school and a couple of other schools, but we’re trying to get [the word] out so we can get most of the schools and part of our community."

Fifth grader, Avery Luenenborg reflected on what it would be like to not have the proper clothing for a winter recess, "It would be really cold and not as fun because your body just wants warmth and when you try to warm yourself you don’t want to move and you’re just huddled."

Fifth grade teacher, Lanelle Stumf, said when the kids are warm, it's easier for them to focus on school.

"When we are warm and comfortable outside, we are able to be at school more and students learn more," said Stumf, "When they miss school because they're sick mainly because they may not have the type of clothing that they need, it really causes a challenge on those kids and when kids are at school they're learning they're having fun and they're excited to be here."

She said there will be a flier distributed at the school during Parent Teacher Conferences with information about how to apply to get the items. "We have a flier going out that basically states, 'Do you have a need for these boots hats or gloves if so what size is what you need?' and we’re compiling that in a spreadsheet so we have that online so we are able to quickly go through our boots and distribute them out throughout the building."

Items can be dropped off during school hours at Buffalo School until December 19th. The items can be new or used and they are looking for mainly elementary aged sizes.