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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 18, 2011, 10:24 PM

Ben Franklin students Shop for Joplin

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Six months after a deadly tornado, the community of Joplin is still picking up the pieces. Families are still rebuilding their homes. But a group of middle school students here in Fargo is making the holidays more cheerful for some of those families.

Six months after a deadly tornado, the community of Joplin is still picking up the pieces. Families are still rebuilding their homes. But a group of middle school students here in Fargo is making the holidays more cheerful for some of those families.

Cydney Kosin – Ben Franklin 8th Grader: "I shop all the time."

But today 8th grader Cydney Kosin isn't shopping for herself. Cydney and about 120 other Ben Franklin students are shopping for 165 Emerson Elementary children in Joplin.

Becca Reineke – Ben Franklin 8th Grader: "We're giving them Christmas presents because a lot of them their families can't pay for Christmas presents because their families are trying to rebuild their homes."

The Ben Franklin students can spend up to $20 on one child. The money comes from fundraisers and private donations.

Becca Reineke: "They all wrote us letters. You get to pick your kid, you buy them what they ask for."

Cydney Kosin: "We bought basketballs, earrings, headbands, footballs and like a kick off tee for the football."

Kids aren't only responsible for shopping, but they also advertised this event and are handling the money and sorting packages."

Barry Olson – Ben Franklin School Teacher: "So every individual on our team has some kind of responsibility for some piece of this project the kids have stepped up to the plate wonderfully."

Becca Reineke: "I'd be sad if I didn't have presents on Christmas."

And thanks to Becca Reineke and her fellow students, kids 750 miles away will have presents under the tree this year.

On December 12, Olson will deliver the presents to Emerson Elementary. It'll be Skyped so kids from both schools will be able to see the presentation.

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