Local nine-year-old raising money to buy pencil cases for all BDS students

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many kids are gearing up to get ready for the new school year, and one local student wants to make sure everyone has the supplies they need.

A local nine-year-old is raising money to help buy students pencil cases for the upcoming school year. (WJHG/WECP)

Rising third-grader Natalie Gerads wants to raise the spirits of others, especially after Hurricane Michael.

"I'm raising money to give other schools in the Bay County and my school pencil cases," said Gerads.

It all started with a friend asking for a new pencil case.

"I asked my mom if we could get some for her and she said, 'Why not the whole Bay County schools?'" said Gerads.

While Natalie is raising money to buy pencil cases for all of the students in Bay District Schools, the school district also says there are some other supplies they could use.

"We could use all of the pencils and composition notebooks, those kinds of things, we can always use those and glue sticks. Apparently, we need a lot of glue sticks," said Director of Communications for Bay District Schools Sharon Michalik.

Michalik says this year it may be tougher for some families to buy supplies.

"We know that while it's fun to go back to school shopping, some people are still rebuilding their homes and just find that prospect kind of daunting," said Michalik.

The school district wants families to know back to school shopping doesn't have to be stressful.

"Every single thing your student needs from backpacks to pencils to paper, all that kind of stuff, we got it covered," said Michalik.

While the school district is lending a helping hand, Natalie says she's glad she can lend the other hand.

"It makes me happy that I know that I'm helping families who are struggling," said Gerads.

In so doing, penciling her name among those who've helped Bay County recover from Hurricane Michael.

"It feels really good to help my community."

To donate to Natalie's pencil case fund, click here.

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