Good students giving back

FRESNO, Calif.

In light of the tragedy in Connecticut, their teacher wants to show the Valley that there are still good people around us.

The Clovis North seniors are on a holiday mission. They practically invaded Target in north Fresno, picking up presents for thirty kids who are currently in the local foster care system.

"I didn't think it was going to be this much fun," said Clovis North senior Meghann Fischer. "And it's easy."

Fischer and dozens of her classmates raised several hundred dollars over the past few weeks. "I'd tell people about it," she said. "And they'd be like here, I have five dollars."

Their persistence paid off in a big way, in the 24 hours before this shopping spree started they managed to pull in another thousand dollars. That may not seem like much, until they hit the checkout line. "It feels really good to give, it just feels great," said senior Connor Kennedy.

The gifts will brighten a child's holiday thanks to a simple task posed by this advanced placement government teacher.

"I've worked with teenagers for a long time, and I've learned they're selfless rather than selfish," said teacher Cliff Nitschke. "They just need an opportunity to put that into effect."

The opportunity left a big enough impression on Alexandra Smith. She's still part of the shopping trip even though she graduated last year. "When it's Christmas, Black Friday, you get so crazy, you forget what you do have," Smith said. "And you forget that there's kids that don't have nearly as much as you do."

"I've done this many, many years. But I've never seen this sort of generosity from a group of kids, like this. It's incredible," Nitschke said.

Lots of kids toys were picked up, but the focus for this year was on older kids. They left notes for what they really want. "They want clothes and make-up and stuff that people our age want," Fischer said. "It's kinda cool."

The students are not finished, they're putting in extra study time this weekend. On Monday they plan to spend class time writing special notes and wrapping the presents.

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