WYNNE, AR (KAIT) - Some Cross County students found a unique way to pay it forward.
Tuesday, kids in Wynne will donate sippy cups to Arkansas Children's Hospital to help struggling families cope with being in the hospital.
"I called and said 'What is one thing you all could use?' and they said sippy cups and so that's how Sip Into Spring was born," said Laura Owens, a 6th-grade English teacher who came up with the idea.
Sip Into Spring is the fourth service project the Wynne Junior High School focused on this year.
Since there were 946 Cross County children who have been treated at Arkansas Children's Hospital in 2015, the school wanted to donate 946 sippy cups to the hospital.
That number ended up being just a fraction of what the school actually brought in.
"When I called she said 'you brought how many? You got how many?' And I said 3,000," Owens said.
The students donated a total of 3,425 sippy cups.
"I started off with a couple of boxes and those boxes turned into more boxes and bags and so forth," said Grayson McMillin, a student who donated 111 sippy cups.
"I know that it would be a lot easier to provide them cups than them to provide their own cups," said Garrett Holder, a student who donated 142 sippy cups. "I know they already have medical bills."
Madison Cullen and Holly Gilley are two of the student who also participated and who have both been impacted by the Arkansas Children's Hospital.
"My brother had open heart surgery," said Cullen, who donated 733 sippy cups. "He died on the operating table. Because of them, he is alive today."
"My brother had polydactyly, which means that he had six fingers on each hand so he had to get them surgically removed," Gilley said. She donated just over 80 sippy cups.
Holder also decided to participate because of a personal experience.
"I have an aunt who has cancer right now and we're just praying for her," said Holder. "I know how it is to have a family member that's going through stuff."
Thanks to Wynne Junior High having such a successful service project, several children in need of medical care will know that they are loved all the way from Wynne.
"It's just amazing to see what a school of 600 could do and it's very rewarding," Owens said.
The Wynne Junior High School is also challenging other schools to join in their sippy cup donations.
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