COBDEN, Ill. (KFVS) - Cobden Junior High School students are helping Shawnee High School students in fighting to bring in more help with flooding assistance in Southern Illinois.
Cobden students are writing letters to government officials asking to help with any levee maintenance or flood preventative measures for Alexander County, Union County and Jackson Counties.
"Our goal is to help the kids over there for what they're going through," Cobden 7th grade student Andrew Sargent said. "What we're trying to do is make where they live a better place."
The overall effort from Shawnee students started when they wrote letters to lawmakers in hopes to be able to get some help. Shawnee students then expanded their efforts and wrote their pen-pals at Cobden earlier this week for help.
"They can't do it themselves," Cobden 7th grade student Eden Kaszubski said. "Sometimes people are in a really dark place and it's really hard to come back from something like a natural disaster all by yourself."
Cobden Junior High School Social Studies teacher Ashley Taylor said they were learning about geography and natural disasters and wanted to come up with a meaningful project for the students.
The class then decided to help out their neighbors that are dealing with the aftermath of the flood.
“I actually reached out to the teachers at Shawnee and asked, ‘How can we help you?’” Taylor said. “They said to go about writing these letters to politicians and coming up with a way we can actually get these levees fixed so this doesn’t happen again.”
Students we talked with said these letters are a great way to get the attention of lawmakers and try to generate some help for their neighbors.
"It's a big step for us at the ages of 12 to 13," Sargent said. "It's kind of like what can a 7th grader do with the government but we're really hoping that there can be a change that can be seen."
"If I am writing to someone and my class is writing to someone about this big of an issue, it's going to make a huge difference," Kaszubski added.
The students are also collecting donations to be able to make a little impact right away.
“We have this big jar that we’re putting up,” Kaszubski said. “We’re going to put all the donations in it and we will be asking local people to help. Hopefully, that will help them.”
The donation collections time ends on November 1st where they will then give the money to the local levee districts in need of help.