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E.V. Cain graduate collects donations for troops

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Savonna Meidinger, 13, knew she wanted to do something to help those who are fighting for the United States. Savonna graduated from E.V. Cain Charter Middle School last week, but before she left the school grounds she began a project to collect donations for her brother-in-law Charles Carte’s Marine Corps Second LAR Bravo Company Weapons Platoon, which is currently serving in Afghanistan. “My brother-in-law was telling me before he left how some of the guys out there didn’t get one thing from their family,” Savonna said. “It was either because their families didn’t have money to send them anything or they didn’t have family.” Savonna said she wanted to get her school involved. “I brought a box to my leadership class, and I had to run it through (Principal Randy) Ittner and see if it was OK that I did that,” Savonna said. “We just went to all of our first period classes, and we had to ask them if they could bring in any items and we gave them a list of everything. I had a lot of help from the kids in leadership and our teacher Ms. (Carol) Stryker, and we went for about five days and asked if anyone could bring anything in and we got a lot of stuff.” Savonna said the students gathered more than 20 boxes full of items including baby wipes, snacks, dice, cards, crossword puzzles, pens, paper, toothbrushes, deodorant, dried milk and more. Kimberly Meidinger, Savonna’s mother, said the family has already sent out several boxes, has seven more ready to go and has a spare room with 15 bags of other items ready to go. Savonna and her mother both said they were surprised that the students donated so much, because the school year was wrapping up and summer was about to start. “I was extremely surprised,” Savonna said. “They took the time to go through it, and they actually brought in a lot of stuff.” Ittner said the donation drive showed the dedication of the school’s students, including Savonna. “She is a great student, a good person, and she was involved in our leadership class which really gets involved in Christmas baskets and packages for the troops that they have done,” Ittner said. “She wanted to do it for her brother-in-law, so I thought that was great. Our students really do give a lot and they care. It was the last week (of school), and I thought, ‘This could be tough, but let’s see what happens with our students,’ and they rose to the occasion.” Savonna said the project taught her something. “I have learned that the people who are fighting for us and helping us out should get some extra recognition and they need extra things too, so maybe the community can help more and think about others,” she said. “It’s like 120 degrees Fahrenheit there so I just thought they should get a little extra that they need.” E.V. Cain also awarded Savonna a humanitarian award at the school’s graduation Thursday night. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com