COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Officials with the Muscogee County School District say more than 1,400 students have been identified as homeless. Now, a new initiative is under way to help those children and their families.
"The families that we service, a lot of them, have five to six to seven children and they don't have the means to ensure that they have everything in order to make it on a day to day basis," said Jennifer Ogletree, the Homeless Outreach Specialist with the Muscogee County School District.
Ogletree says this year to help all those children a new initiative has been launched for the month of November called Homeless Not Helpless.
"We are trying to help all the families within the system who are classified as a homeless with hygiene products, hats and gloves, and ensure that all of them have jackets and coats for the winter," said Ogletree.
Ridgon Road Elementary School pre-K student Kassidy Kegler and other students are collecting canned foods.
"Because people need food," said the student.
Her mom, Ursula Kegler, says the initiative is a way to teach your kids the importance of helping others.
"When you think about it, having an opportunity as a school to help, we get a chance to educate our students and help out our children be more compassionate and care about other people," said Kegler.
At Rigdon, they are also using it as an opportunity to help kids with math every can on a wall in the school stands for ten cans that were donated.
Kegler says you can do this at home too.
"You could chart or do graphs or anything to say what your can count is, how many more you might need to bring in, and it is just a good way to still remind children during the holiday season that there are small things that they can do to help people," said Kegler.
The last day for donations will be on November 30, and then on December 6, all the donations will be taken to the Columbus Public Library on Macon Road and then distributed to different outreach programs in Columbus.
Elementary schools are collecting socks and gloves or canned goods. Middle schools are collecting travel size hygiene supplies and high schools are collecting coats, hats, and blankets.