TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- What started as a youth-directed foundation established by the CREATE Foundation in 2001 is growing each year thanks to students who are active in community involvement.
The students recently did something above and beyond the call of duty.
They raised and donated money in the form of grants to area organizations.
"Well, we had to get out and just ask because people will give, you just have to ask them if it's something to give back to the community," said student Julianna Garner. "Everybody can benefit from it."
"We just went out and asked people for money and we told them what we did," said student Merideth Adams. "We just told them it would help out."
Some students found the task of raising money a little more challenging due to elements like location and the current economy playing a factor.
"Well it is definitely a challenge for us," said student Gwin Moore. "We don't have a lot of businesses in our county."
While the high school students are out and about raising money to help out charitable organizations, they are learning what corporate life and philanthropy is all about.
"Through this organization they learn that even they can make a difference in the lives of other people," said CREATE communications director Jennie Hannah. "[They] can improve the quality of life of the people of this region."
The students say raising money from willing businesses is well worth the time and effort.
"It's really rewarding in and of itself, to just be able to give to someone else that is not quite as fortunate as you are," said student Carol Coker.
"I think it's just a really good opportunity for us to raise money so that we can help other families," said student Meg Lambert. "[We can] be better examples for younger people to get out and do things like this for the future."
Those who are on the receiving end of the grants say it speaks volumes about the character of the students who helped raise money.
"A heart that sees a need and cares, we see that very little now a days in our culture," said Angie Treadaway, executive director of Banah. "These are great kids."
Here is a list of local organizations that received donations:
- Matthew 25 Food Pantry: $280
- First Baptist Church Saltillo Food Pantry: $280
- Catch Kids of Tupelo: $750
- Banah Crisis Pregnancy Center in Pontotoc: $750
- Tippah County Good Samaritan Center: $280
- Union County Excel by 5: $285
- Chickasaw County Soccer Association: $225.00
All together this year $2,850 went to seven organizations in north Mississippi.