Gaston Co. fifth-grader buys book bags full of donated supplies for fellow students in need

Gaston Co. fifth-grader buys book bags full of donated supplies for fellow students in need

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Emma Lineberger, a fifth grader at Rankin Elementary, had looked around at her classmates when an idea popped in her head. She realized the supplies she had in her own backpack weren’t the same as her fellow students. Emma wanted to change that for them.

“They didn’t have any book bags or school supplies or anything, and I didn’t like the way that sounded." Emma said.

She said that seeing her classmates last year struggling to get school supplies was something she wanted to try and make sure she’d never have to see again.

“I didn’t think that was fair," she said. “Because teachers had to buy their supplies with their own money.”

Emma got an idea—to start a community service project. She calls it “Emma’s Backpack Project."

“I got backpacks and school supplies and we filled the bags with school supplies to make sure every kid had what they needed for every grade," Emma said.

Emma started with reaching to fill five book bags - each book bag costing around $50 each.

“$1,500 is what we meant to raise," Emma said.

As soon as the community found out about what Emma was doing, they wanted to help. Emma said her friends, family and church immediately helped with donations.

She quickly reached and surpassed her goal.

“We raised $4,000,” she said.

That $4,000 helped to fill 80 book bags.

“I feel really excited, because this means a lot to me," said Emma. "Like I even got put on safety patrol.”

Safety Patrol is a big accomplishment for Emma, something that she’s proud of.

But someone else who is proud of her? Her dad. He teaches at her school, Rankin Elementary.

“It just blows me away how courageous she is and how giving she is," says Emma’s father, Joel. "And to see how our entire community and our friends and neighbors and families have been, to sit back and watch that...and then to also be a apart of it.”

Teachers were able to take those book bags donated by Emma and give them to students. Emma was able to fill so many book bags that they actually have enough for any students who might transfer in during the year and need supplies.

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