BRADENTON, Fla. — Learning to adapt and overcome is a lesson we've all had to learn this year. But students at Electa Lee Middle School are finding a way to help others this holiday season, despite the challenges of the pandemic by partnering with Yellowfin and collecting toys.
"We just really want to help the people who barely make it through," said sixth-grader Kraig Leib.
And that's what Future Business Leaders of America students at Electa Lee Middle School do every year with their annual blessing baskets campaign. They collect food, clothing, and toys and deliver them to communities in need.
But because of COVID-19 restrictions this year, they had to cancel.
"To know that those communities we go to every year, that we're not going to be rolling in the Sunday before Christmas and helping them out, it's kind of heartbreaking," said Richard Daenell, business teacher and FBLA advisor.
But instead of being heartbroken and doing nothing, they found a way to overcome the pandemic's challenges by stepping up and collecting toys.
"It's really heartwarming that we get to do this because not everyone's Christmas can be just full of gifts," said eighth-grader Anna Alarcon.
FBLA students have partnered with the Yellowfin to fill a boat full of toys that will be delivered to local Toys for Tots locations.
"For middle schoolers being able to do what we've done in the past is huge, and so we're still getting into the communities just not in person," said Daenell.
And students are learning that despite their own hardships, they can still have the heart to help others.
"We're helping others simply because we can, and as long as we have the power to do that, we will continue to do that," said Alarcon.
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