Benson students deliver donations to firefighters - Tucson News Now

Benson students deliver donations to firefighters

(Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13)
BENSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Food, supplies, and goodies were collected as Benson High School students spent the past few days reaching out for donations to give to firefighters.

They did so because students like Kaileigh Thompson saw what many in their community have seen.

"We saw a bunch of smoke and we were like, 'Oh! This is really, really big and it's really close to our community. So there are probably a lot of people we know that are affected. So why not do something to help them out?'"

And help they did. The teen is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America Benson Chapter, and when the Sawmill Fire sparked up Sunday, April 23, and lasted through the week, it raised the alert for her and her fellow students.

In many of the homes in the fire's path live families, and students at Benson High School. Principal Ben Rodriguez said he is not letting his guard down until the fire is completely out.

"Initial reaction is that it's a little scary. It affects a lot of our families within our boundaries," Rodriguez said. "We look at it as how can we support them? Our schools, our superintendent, as well as our team here is well-prepared to let them use our facility in any kind of way and help any of the families out that we can."

Zackery Wiegand, president of the FBLA Benson Chapter, jumped in to help despite the danger at his family's home near J-6.

"We've seen it before but this is the first time that it's actually been in question that we might have to load up our livestock and our horses and actually leave," he said.

The community responded to their call. Homemade brownies and cookies were dropped off at the high school, along with supplies like socks and baby wipes. The group delivered five carloads worth of items Thursday, April 27, to various departments at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, where the Sawmill Fire incident command is set up.

The teens said they realize firefighters get much of what they need from the government on these state wildfires, but they wanted to give that little, extra, personal touch.

"It's not so much the material value of the goods and drinks," Wiegand said. "But people are opening their own ovens and baking their own goods. They're bringing them here - made by their own hands - to show their support."

"As a community, we can just say bring as much as you want, or as much as you can," Thompson said. "So there's no limit. They can get more."

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