Published: Nov 09, 2012 3:32 PM EST
Updated: Nov 09, 2012 5:49 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Students at Harns Marsh Elementary and other schools around the area, are leading a drive to collect food and clothing for needy veterans. Students collected boxes of food at Harns Marsh. It goes to an American Legion post, for distribution to homeless and jobless vets. 

"They fought for us, some even died, thousands of families have suffered. We need to help them," said 5th grader Francesca Charles of the veterans.

Charles, along with Dakota Breeden, Alexia Tatum, Darielle Brookins, and Breanna Turner, spearheaded the drive at Harns Marsh in Lehigh Acres.

The company, Two Men and a Truck, participated in the drive for the first time this year. Employees picked up boxes of items and transported them to veterans groups and shelters.

"It is just a thrill to see the kids do this, to see that they understand what they are doing and why they're doing it," said Mary Kate O'Connell of Two Men and a Truck in Naples.

Harns Marsh is a Title I school, meaning it has a very high percentage of families that are low-income. Despite that, many students brought in food items.

"I am so proud of our students and families.  They care about other people, even though the families may be in need themselves," said Principal Dr. Marsha Bur.

The food boxes from Harns Marsh go to American Legion post 38 in Fort Myers.

Post commander Kevin Boyd told WINK News, "It says to me that these children know that veterans have sacrificed for our freedoms. Freedom is not cheap, and these students realize that we owe the veterans for their sacrifices. I am really pleased by what I see from those children."