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Local students collect items for homeless shelter

A group of students at the Alturas International Academy is doing their part to help the Haven Homeless Shelter this holiday season.

Caprice Shuman, Madison Hawkes and Sydney Harper say they were inspired to help those less fortunate after they learned about homelessness in the southeastern Idaho region.

“We just got together, and we were like oh, we want to do this, we want to help them provide Christmas for those in need,” said Hawkes. “We got together, and we created posters, and we wrapped this big box, and we wanted to set this up so people can donate.”

Idaho’s homeless population is down about 10 percent compared to 2016. Although the numbers might be down, there are about 2,000 people living on the streets or in shelters.

The three girls started collecting donations for two weeks, including personal hygiene items, blankets, socks and toys for kids. They created flyers and decorated a box outside the main office were their peers, Faculty and Parents all contributed.

All three said they’ve received nothing but gratitude.

“Seeing that some people can’t afford to get their children present’s or not even getting themselves anything we wanted to help them get that,” said Harper.

“We really want to encourage our students to give back to the community and do things for others, we’re a school is the betterment of the whole community,” Executive Director Michelle Ball said. “It was the girls who got together and saw a need at the Haven and decided they had to do something.”

All three girls are doing all the heavy lifting partnering with the haven to provide basic items too as many homeless people as they can.

“We are a family shelter for single moms, single dad with kids full-time. Two-parent families and we help people get back on their feet.”

Anne Johnson is the manager for the Haven and says what all three girls are doing will stick with them.

“To me, that’s what it’s all about we just made somebody happy. We can use everything they gave us for all our clients here.”

The shelter received its first box Tuesday and are planning to donate another one this weekend.

“It makes us very happy to know that we are giving back to other people and knowing that they can have their own Christmas just like us.”

“We wanted them to have that experience and to give back for us just means providing for other people.”

If you would like to donate, you can visit Alturas International Academy or The Haven directly.

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