Dry Creek students get thank you cards, following backpack donations to Camp Fire victims


Students at Dry Creek Elementary in Clovis are getting thanks for collecting donations and sending them to students affected by the Camp Fire in Butte County.

The student council started collecting donations in December, and they were able to send nearly 200 backpacks that were stuffed with school supplies. They also sent $750 worth of gift cards to the students near Chico. Last week, those Chico students sent back thank you cards – creating a special bond likely to last forever.

“Dear friend, thank you for the backpack I like it,” read one student.

Another student read, “I loved all the things that were in my new backpack, especially the blanket you gave me.”

Other letters described, “My sister lost her house, so she will be very thankful.”

“This really means a lot to me because I lost a lot of stuff. I had to go through a lot of scary things, thank you so much,” read one student.

What was going to be a simple service project turned into a huge charitable force. Teacher Christy Lilles is in charge of the student council. Her mom and uncle were directly affected by the Camp Fire.

Lilles said, “But what could we do to help the kids? And so, we decided to tailor it to backpacks full of school supplies and things that kids would want.”

Principal Aaron Cook took three students up north and delivered the goods last month.

“It was fulfilling to drop off those backpacks, but driving through the middle of devastation, it wasn’t enough.”

Fourth grader, Jackson Doswald, said he wishes he could do more.

He stated, “It was sad when we got up there… because all of the buildings were burned down.”

Last week, thank you cards came flooding in from Cedarwood Elementary students in Magalia.

Sixth-grade student Trayce Simes commented on the thank you cards, “That warmed my heart. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything from them.”

Teaching these students the ultimate lesson, of what joy can come out of giving.

“We are there to support each other, and i’m going to start crying, but they’re there to help each other and that’s what we are as humans. I mean, that’s what makes us good people,” ended Lilles.

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