Chippewa Co. Teacher's Social Media Post Leads to Big Holiday Do - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Chippewa Co. Teacher's Social Media Post Leads to Big Holiday Donations

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"I think kids and families are willing to put other kids and families first and that's what the spirit of Christmas is all about," Sault Middle School 6th grade teacher Heather Hopkins said.

There has been an outpouring of support for students at an Upper Peninsula school district after a teacher made a simple post on social media.

Now, hundreds of food items, clothes and donations have come in to help Sault Area Schools' students this Christmas.

9 & 10's Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik asked the teachers who are making it all possible about the overwhelming community support.

"I was just trying to share an uplifting story of my day and now that turned into something that we can support hundreds of kids in our community," Hopkins said.

Sault Middle School teacher Heather Hopkins says a student came up to her two weeks ago asking to get his food assistance backpack a day early, but Hopkins couldn't get in the room where they're kept.

She gave the student some of her own food and the following Monday the student came in all smiles.

"I said, 'how was your weekend?' and he said, 'epic,' and I said, 'epic? That's awesome. Why was it, what happened?' He said, 'I studied all weekend for our economics test today,' and I was like wow," Hopkins said.

There's already a Kids Closet and food pantry in place in schools in the district, but Hopkins took to Facebook to post about the heartwarming interaction.

"It just exploded," Hopkins said. "I mean over 80 comments from friends and family around the state and around the country saying, 'what can we do to help?'" 

People involved with the program say it's incredible to not only see the help all year long, but also the outpouring of support from just one Facebook post.

"It's exciting," Students in Transition transition coordinator Carol McKay said. "It's overwhelming. It kind of threw us all into a ,wow okay, how are we going to manage things and how are we going to disperse items?" 

McKay says its a testament to a community that has already given so much to the students over the years.

"Just an outpouring of people wanting to share what they have and being generous and wanting to lift others up," McKay said.

Donations can be brought to Sault Middle School.