DANSVILLE — Dansville Central students, faculty and staff are opening up their hearts to those who were greatly damaged by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Tx.

Dansville Central Superintendent Paul Alioto said that after a Lighthouse Team Meeting at SUNY Geneseo, there was talk about volunteers needed for disaster relief in Texas.

After this meeting Alioto realized the need at Mendel Elementary School in Houston, Tx. This school serves mostly refugee and immigrant students from kindergarten to fourth grade. They are in the Aldine Independent School District.  

“These students lost their school,” Alioto said. “The entire school had to be demolished, because of Hurricane Harvey. Many of these students also lost their homes.”

“They asked for volunteers at SUNY Geneseo to help support Hurricane Harvey victims,” Alioto continued. “They were recruiting young people to go down, and help with those hit by Hurricane Harvey.”

Alioto felt inspired to help another school district in desperate need. He reached out to Aldine Human Resources Executive Director Nathan Boughton to see what these students needed the most.

It sparked the idea to make a special Fill The Bus dedicated to those at the Mendel Elementary School. There are 350 students in need right now. Alioto is asking the community to put unwrapped new toys in the bus, so that these students can have a Christmas.

The Dansville Central Lighthouse Team needs help with wrapping and boxing the presents, so they can be shipped to the students by the second week of December.

The Fill The Bus campaign is run by Dansville Central and C.A.N.N. in order to bring Christmas to the Houston-area children in need.

Fill The Bus will be at the following locations; Main Street on Nov. 3, Dansville Collision on Nov. 6, across from CVS on Franklin and Battle streets on Nov. 13, Rogers and Tenbrook on Nov. 20, and Four Square Church from Nov. 27 until Dec. 3.

“In order to ensure the holiday is special for the children we want to make sure they each get a toy, so many homes have been devastated in the district,” Alioto said. “Not only did they lose their school, but many lost their homes too.”

The children have all been sent to another school outside of their district for now.

The original idea was to drive the bus down with the toys, but Texas gets free shipping due to the hurricane relief efforts.

“They are all safe now, but their world has been turned upside down,” Alioto said. “It is difficult to imagine.”

Alioto said there are very giving children in the community, and he is proud of Dansville Central.

“We are really proud and happy to support the kids in need in Houston,” he said.