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Mid-County Kindness brings rivals together to help others

The fierce yet friendly rivalry between the Nederland Bulldogs and Port Neches-Groves Indians has been set aside as students from both schools work together to help the needy with Mid-County Kindness.

Their kindness comes from a project of Leadership of Southeast Texas and its youth members who spent time collecting toiletries and warm clothing and blankets for the Hospitality Center in Port Arthur.

Officials at the center will tally the number of collected items on Friday and the winning school will receive a large trophy declaring them the winners of Mid-County Kindness, Donna Byars, counselor at Nederland High School, said.

Besides the trophy, donations of $300 will be made to the Hospitality Center courtesy of Neches Federal Credit Union.

Nederland High School students Kendal DeVillier, left, and Taylor Desormeaux show some of the items collected during Mid-County Kindness to benefit the Hospitality Center in Port Arthur. Mary Meaux/The News

Nederland High School students Kendal DeVillier, left, and Taylor Desormeaux show some of the items collected during Mid-County Kindness to benefit the Hospitality Center in Port Arthur.
Mary Meaux/The News

NHS sophomore Kendal DeVillier is happy to be part of the project.

“It’s a lot more than a competition between two schools,” DeVillier said. “This makes me happy, seeing the schools coming together to help the less fortunate.”

Taylor Desormeaux, a NHS senior agrees.

“It’s humbling and a privilege to be part of this,” Desormeaux said. “You don’t really realize how fortunate you are.”

Byars is proud of the students and their project to help others.

“We put so much focus on the athletic rivalry and this is a good, healthy competition and no one loses,” Byars said.

Darren Lehrmann, with KFDM/KBTV, explained the service project was chosen by the Youth-Leadership of Southeast Texas.

“There was a complete, 100 percent buy-in from the students,” Lehrmann said from the Neches Federal Credit Union inside Port Neches-Groves High School on Wednesday.

Port Neches-Groves High School students Tyler Pippin, left, Mackinley Brown, Rachel Hammersmith, and Maria Salazar pose with Santa Claus, also known as Madison Hamby with items collected during Mid-County Kindness to benefit the Hospitality Center in Port Arthur. Mary Meaux/The News

Port Neches-Groves High School students Tyler Pippin, left, Mackinley Brown, Rachel Hammersmith, and Maria Salazar pose with Santa Claus, also known as Madison Hamby with items collected during Mid-County Kindness to benefit the Hospitality Center in Port Arthur.
Mary Meaux/The News

PN-G students Tyler Pippin, freshman; Maria Salazar, sophomore; Mackinley Brown, a junior, and Rachel Hammersmith, a sophomore, gathered at the credit union inside the school next to the donation pile.

“This makes me feel so happy,” Hammersmith said. “It’s reassuring to know that people not as blessed as you are will be blessed with the items we collected. It’s the little things, like a pair of socks, can make someone’s day. To them (needy) it means so much more.”

Pippin said he feels good helping others, supporting the community and the needy.

Mid-County Kindness trophy will be bestowed on the school that collected the most items during Mid-County Kindness. Mary Meaux/The News

Mid-County Kindness trophy will be bestowed on the school that collected the most items during Mid-County Kindness.
Mary Meaux/The News

Organizers plan to make the clothing drive more than a one time project. A second clothing drive will be held some time in the spring to collect summer clothes.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews