After it was reported that thousands of acres and heads of livestock have been lost, four people have died and thousands of others displaced from their homes due to the Texas Panhandle wildfires, two Stephenville High School FFA students have decided to help.

On Wednesday SHS juniors Sidney Love and Jessica Dammers came up with the idea for a fire relief effort. Since they are also members of Erath County 4-H, they created a joint effort between 4-H and the FFA for the cause.

“We kind of took the ball and ran with it and we got it approved to do a donation drive here at the high school,” said agriculture science teacher Ryan Best. “We’ve gotten a phenomenal response from the community so far. We’ve gotten all kinds of toiletries and household items, cases of bottled water, and quite a bit of hay and feed donated as well so it’s been a really great outpouring from the community.”

The students will be accepting donations through 4 p.m. Friday at the high school, however, donations are now limited to bottled water, Gatorade, feed and square bales of hay.

“We will be sending the trucks out Saturday morning that way it is given to them when they need it most rather than waiting,” Best said. “The transportation has been donated by quite a few people. It’s been really neat to see people come together and donate their services and time.”

Those who would like to donate can bring their items directly to the high school. For anyone interested in hauling a load of supplies to the Panhandle, call Best at 254-459-9221.

“It fills me with quite a bit of pride knowing that those students have that big of a heart and that compassion to care about others,” Best said. “And even more so it has inspired other members of our high school to do the same. Whenever we look at people in need one of our most basic instincts is to want to help fill that need and to see these young ladies acting on that makes me feel really excited about the group of students we have here at Stephenville High School.”

Love said she is happy with the response from fellow students and the community.

“It was all over social media and so we thought we would make a big step and do something,” she said. “I think it’s great and everyone has played their role in helping and it’s been a good outcome.”