They may be some 200 miles away, but the students of Maries County R-2 Schools have come together to help the residents of tornado-ravaged Joplin.
Elaine McConell, athletic activities director for the high school, said the collection began after Rolla Public Schools and St. James R-1 School District challenged the students and community members in Belle to see who could collect the most items.
Soon after a high school assembly, students Kurtis Butler, Wade Guffey and Jacob Kottwitz took the large task on basically by themselves, McConell said.
McConnell said by 1 p.m. Wednesday the school had collected more than $5,200 from students and community members.
All three Maries County schools were involved in the collection efforts. Donations can still be dropped off through Friday morning.