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Giving doesn't take a holiday

Jeff Schmucker Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 07:29 PM

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Nancy Hurst is a firm believer that those with the most need of donated items are also often times the most giving.

That belief stems from what she sees every day from the parents, staff and students at Pine Grove Elementary, where as a Title 1 parent educator, she sees about 80 percent of the roughly 570 students receive free or reduced lunch.

But at one of the neediest schools, Hurst said, you will find some of the most generous people. Used uniforms, along with jackets and sweaters, continue to be brought in on a regular basis from parents and other donors.

And more recently, Hurst said children and families have gotten in full swing for the holiday season, donating food and clothing to 40 school families along with extra items to the Salvation Army.

"The kids are so giving, and they love being able to share their uniforms," Hurst said. "But we also have entire classrooms going above and beyond gathering items for our local families."

Since October, students have been collecting food items to provide dinners for families in need as well as the area Salvation Army—since the organization does so much to help the school.

Hurst said there hasn't been an exact food count, but more than enough items have been gathered for the 40 families, and the collections keep coming in.

Currently, there is a cutoff of Dec. 17.

For years, she said, the school has participated in an exchange that allows families to bring in their children's school uniforms that they've grown out of and replace them with clothing that fits.

Doing so means many families don't have to go through buying new clothing each year.

But now donations also provide students with school supplies and even food.

"It's now sort of a one-stop shop," Hurst said. "I think the families here especially know what it's like to be in need and go out of their way to provide for others. They also know that as bad off as they may have it, there are families out there that are in more dire straits."

Those interested in donating items can do so by bringing them to the school at 14411 Ken Austin Parkway, in Brooksville.

For more information, contact Hurst at (352) 797-7090. (352) 544-5271

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