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Leicester Elementary students honor former classmate, give back to the community

Students and staff at Leicester Elementary are showing their love for their community by participating in the Thankful Hearts Food Drive. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Students and staff at Leicester Elementary are showing their love for their community by participating in the Thankful Hearts Food Drive.

They're also using the event to honor Olivia Landreth -- a former student who recently passed away.

"By doing this, we're helping some of our families, right, but we're also doing something that Olivia thought was an important thing to do," Principal Chad Upton said.

First-graders got a lesson on how the human body works, including the heart. Olivia had undergone two heart transplants before she died.

Students say they still remember Olivia today and said they are thankful she was a part of their lives.

They're also thankful for many other things, like their family, friends, and pets. It's a community where the children understand the importance of giving.

"If you help people, then you're not just being good for them, you're being good for the community," first-grader Emrie said.

The school is accepting food and monetary donations through November 20 to make sure the less fortunate in the Leicester community have food on Thanksgiving.

The Fresh Market, Sandy Mush 4-H Club, and Leicester Baptist Church are helping to sponsor the event.

Leicester Elementary hopes to make the Thanksgiving food drive an annual event in honor of Olivia.

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