Local students raise $10,000 to help their peers in Flint during the water crisis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 17, 2016)-- If you thought ,Hoosier hospitality slowed down to help the people of Flint, Michigan, think again.

Students at Pike High School are leading their district in fundraising efforts to help students in Flint who could face years worth of healthcare needs after many of them were poisoned by contaminated water.

"We feel strongly about as students ourselves there's other students being affected. We felt like we should all band together to help this community because it's just such a crisis and it's just so sad to watch all those kids grow up with brain damage and lead damage," said Pike High School Junior, Jasmine Jones.

Student organizations at Pike High School are leading the "Focus on Flint" campaign. Selling t-shirts, buttons and stickers to help the more than 5,000 students in Flint Community Schools whom they've never met. Pike librarian, Lena Darnay got the ball rolling after discovering the students felt helpless but really wanted to help their neighbors.

"And that's when the school community really rose to the occasion. They started raising money almost immediately. We were able to cover the printing cost for the t-shirts for pike high school so every dollar of t-shirts sold at pike high school goes directly to the donation," said Darnay.

The students chose to raise money instead of donating water because they wanted their contribution to have a lasting impact. Especially after learning the heavy truth about lead poisoning and how much it will cost to treat impacted children for years to come.

"And just to see kids just like me, growing up like me are affected by this it really touched me. And I realized that as the National Honor Society we need to all come together and help this because it could be any of us and we should help out because one day it might be us and we'll need the help," said Jones.

The students and staff wore their shirts Focus On Flint shirts Thursday as a way to show their hard work and celebrate together. Their fundraising goal is $20,000. They're halfway there.

Shirts go on sale to the public during the Pike Literacy Fair, April 8, at the high school.