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HS Students Help Flood Victims Clean Up

By Erich Schaffhauser
Published: September 7, 2011, 8:45 PM

HS Students Help Flood Victims Clean Up
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Across the river in Fort Pierre, high school students from across the state were working along the Missouri River to help clean up sandbags after this summer's flood flight.

It's a high school activities association project that's been going on a week and a half.

There are almost 250 kids volunteering to remove sandbags in the Pierre/Fort Pierre area today and when this project is all said and done, that number will probably be more than 700. When you add it all up, you get more than 10,000 volunteer hours from students across the state of South Dakota. 

Some students are  from Huron

"I'm stoked," Tyler Hajek said.

Other students are from Greggory.

"We're kind of beating the other side so it's a good competition," Ty Klein said.

The students have been helping people they don't even know from the Fort Pierre area Wednesday. They don't know the amount of sandbags they've moved either but no one seems to mind.

James Weaver with the South Dakota High School Activities Association has noticed that with every group that's come.

"Every student that's come down here is excited, energetic and ready to help. No one's been complaining about how much they've been working, even though they've been working a lot," Weaver said.

And schools aren't paying to bus them here; students are raising that money themselves. Homeowner Carolyn Riter can't say thank you enough.

"It's been a very stressful summer and there have been a lot of ups and downs and we all deal with it in a different way but to see the enthusiasm and the willingness of these kids to come and help us has just been wonderful and we appreciate it so much," Riter said.

Each school’s at this site today didn't have trouble recruiting volunteers.

"We get to help these people out and we're getting our school together, a lot of teamwork and it's just fun. Although it's a little messy but still a good time," Kimmy Nguyen said.

And the lifting may put a little stress on the backs of students. But for homeowners like the Riters- there's a lot of stress lifted from theirs.

The original plan had this project wrapping up at the end of this week. But now there is enough interest that it'll go through next week for sure and the activities association will just continue it as long as there are volunteers.

© 2011 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.

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