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Bartlesville students collect donations for family after house fire

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Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 19:32:43-05

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A group of Bartlesville High School students spent their first day of Thanksgiving break helping out a classmate whose family recently lost their home to a fire.

When the BHS students heard about the fire on Friday, they didn't hesitate to help out. They organized an emergency drive-by collection at the high school on Monday. From blankets and food to bags of clothes and money, the community showed its support for the family.

Those spearheading the event are students at the high school’s Interact Club.

“It’s right before Thanksgiving," said Joyce Yang, a junior at Bartlesville High School. "The season of gratitude. We wanted to give back when we could.”

“It’s Thanksgiving and Christmas time and no one deserves to have that big of a setback in their life," said Parker Fielder, a freshman at BHS. "And so, it’s very important that we get them back on their feet. Because no one this to happen to them.”

The students sent out the call for help and the community responded.

They drove up and dropped off goods for the family with seven children, ages three to 15. Lonnie Gillman and his wife brought two truckloads of items, including the ham they were saving for Christmas.

“It’s a tragic loss when anything like this happens," Gillman said. "And we were led by the Lord to bring stuff. We do a food ministry at our church and we had the food at our house and felt compelled to bring it on down.”

Monday was the first day of Thanksgiving break for Bartlesville students. Instead of staying home all day, these students demonstrated the spirit of giving.

“For them to turn around and do this in just a couple of days' time, this is why you teach," said Trey Cabler, a teacher at Bartlesville High School and sponsor for the Interact Club. "Get to be around awesome kids that are going to change the world someday.”

While the student and his family were not at the drop-off, he drove by and saw how the community is coming together to support them.

“He actually just sent us a message that basically just was saying I can’t say anything but thank you," Cabler said. "I can’t believe that the community would come together like this, that you guys are out there helping. I know it means a lot to him and his family.”

If you would like to donate money to the family, checks can be made out to BHS Interact and sent to P.O. Box 2115, Bartlesville, OK 74005.

If you'd like to drop off a donation, you can do so at the Bartlesville Freshman Academy.

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