11-year-old organizes donation drive for flooding victims in Middle Tennessee

Local News

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — After historic flooding in Middle Tennessee that killed 20 and impacted thousands, many have wanted to help.  

In Pigeon Forge on Saturday, a donation drive organized by 11-year-old Lexi Hurst was held for those impacted in Waverly.  

“I just wanted to help just more than pray for them, you know help them,” Lexi said.

The Pigeon Forge Intermediate student said she first saw the aftermath of the flooding online,

“I was on Tik-Tok randomly scrolling and I thought it was the saddest thing I ever saw.”

That’s when she went to her mom to see what they could do.

“Lexi since she was very small has had a desire to help people,” said Lexi’s mom, Jane Hurst.

Lexi’s mom said that Lexi wanted to help the flooding victims in a way that really made an impact.  

“She said, ‘I want to help these people’ and I said ‘yes, Lexi, it’s awful.’ I said, ‘you want to help these people? OK we’ll send a donation or something’ and she said, ‘no mom, I really want to help these people,’” Jane said. 

Jane and Lexi decided to have the collection drive but knew they would need a little help.

“We received a phone call in the middle of this week saying that a young girl was trying to help Waverly,” explained James Mclaughlin with the American Legion Post 104 Located in Sevierville.

The American Legion Post 104 and several other organizations jumped right on board to help out.

“It’s amazing that someone that young that their heart is in the right place to try to help people out,” said Tim Baker with the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

Altogether they collected much-needed items like nonperishable foods, sanitary products, and cleaning supplies.

Lexi said she will be hand delivering the items herself.

She said the message she wants to send to those who are suffering is, “I just want you to know that I’m here to help you and that I will see you on Wednesday.”

They raised almost $1,500 dollars on Saturday.

If you want to donate items to the flooding victims, you can drop off needed items at the American Legion in Sevierville or one of the fire departments.  

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