One school rolled up its sleeves.
Another donned pajama pants and slippers.
They both were trying to help a family in need.
Riverside Middle School held a blood drive Friday in the name of Andrew Nalley, 12, a seventh-grader at the school who was severely burned in a house fire Monday.
The fire at 4677 Red Leaf Way in the Maple Creek subdivision killed his brother Forrest Hutto, 9, and left his parents, James and Michelle Hutto, homeless. The fire, which started on the back porch, is believed to have been electrical, but its cause is "undetermined," according to the state Fire Marshall's office.
As of Wednesday, Andrew remained in critical condition at Doctors Hospital, which is supplied by Shepeard Blood Center.
"This young man with second- and third-degree burns over 25 percent of his body has the potential to use a large quantity of blood components and may do so for weeks to come," a news release from Shepeard stated.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Riverside Middle collected donations for the American Red Cross of Augusta, which is helping the Hutto family. School officials also hung a banner in the lunchroom where pupils and staff could write their messages for Andrew. Putnam said the outpouring of concern has been tremendous.
"Very few kids know Andrew, but our kids are responding by giving," Putnam said. "That's really the lesson I want them to learn: Even if they don't know someone in the community, when there's a need, it's really a community responsibility to respond."
A few miles away, pupils who gave a donation at Lakeside Middle School on Friday were allowed to wear pajama pants and slippers to school. Principal Felicia Dumas said such efforts in the past have raised about $300.
"This is a part of our community, definitely something that will touch our students, even though it's not at our school," Dumas said. "The family is going through so much. They've already lost one child and have another that is critically ill.
"We wanted to help out. It's not a huge amount, but it will certainly help."
Moore Wilbert Vault Co. in Evans donated a burial vault to the Hutto family to help with the funeral expenses. Platt's Funeral Home, which handled the memorial service for Forrest on Friday, also contributed a casket that was painted white by Kendrick Paint & Body.
Donations for the family can be made to: American Red Cross of Augusta, 1322 Ellis St., Augusta, GA 30901. Donations can also be made at any South Trust Bank to the Michelle Hutto Family Fund.
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