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"Hello Friend ..." Heartland students write words of inspiration for Hurricane Harvey children

The letter template begins with this warm greeting, but the inspiring words that follow are entirely up to each child of Geneva School District 304. Once completed, the letters will be lovingly packed and distributed to the children affected by Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas.

The effort, organized by Heartland parent Dr. Kimberly Lemke, along with the support of Principal Kimberly Hornberg and parents Kelly Torrence and Sarah Ciemny, began last week in response to the tropical storm, which has devastated communities. A letter was emailed to parents of Heartland students, inviting them to participate in the letter drive.

"Students can simply share two ways in which they cope when things 'don't go as they should,' " The message from Hornberg explained in the email. "They can decorate/color their letter; let's send some 'Heartland Happiness' to Houston!"

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns visited Heartland on Wednesday, Sept. 6, to help collect the letters and meet the children who have participated thus far. According to Lemke, the drive will now extend to the rest of the community. If parents are interested, they can contact Heartland Elementary School to learn more.

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