Pen pals donate to Hurricane Harvey victims

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NESHOBA COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - A group of special pen pals met for the first time Wednesday. MSU Meridian students have been writing Tucker Elementary School students as a part of their exploring diversity course. The pen pals are teaming up to help students in Texas who were victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Ashlynn Lee, a MSU student and Anesha Chapman, a Tucker Elementary student, have been pen pals for months. They're meeting for the very first time.

"They get to meet people that otherwise they probably wouldn't," says Rain Wallin, Tucker Elementary teacher.

Tucker Elementary students are learning the excitement of writing letters for the first time, and for aspiring teachers currently enrolled at MSU Meridian, they're learning the importance of diversity.

"This is one of the first times they get to network with children, and to begin accepting, understand and appreciating the diversities that we have in our communities, in our state and in our world," says MSU Meridian Associate Professor Penny Wallin.

After learning each others goals, hobbies and really anything they wanted to share, these pen pals wrote a letter together to help students affected by Hurricane Harvey.

"It's really been exciting because we have the MSU students helping the Tucker students and they're all helping the hurricane students. It's really a ripple effect," says Rain Wallin.

The students filled 28 backpacks with school supplies, toiletries, a blanket and of course, that sincere and heartfelt note, wishing the students in Houston, who lost everything, a speedy recovery.

The backpacks will be sent to Mittelstadt Elementary in Houston. The Tucker Elementary and MSU Meridian students will continue to write each other and meet again at the end of the year at MSU.