HOMETOWN HEROES | Alaina Collins and Maddie Watts

Published: Dec. 6, 2019 at 8:30 PM EST
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For the second year in a row, two Chesapeake High School students have made it their mission to spread Christmas cheer.

When seniors Alaina Collins and Maddie Watts began working on their National Honors Society project last year, they had no idea how big it would end up getting.

"It feels great that we are getting so much accomplished," Watts said.

The friends created on online stocking fundraiser to give gifts to less fortunate kids in the community.

"We both saw a need in our community throughout the holidays," Watts said. "We're fortunate enough to have all the things we do. We just wanted to give back to others."

Last year they raised $150. This year they've gotten more than $1,300 in donations, which means they'll be able to provide stockings for 100 kids.

They fill the stockings with toys, candy and hygiene products.

"That'll help so many people and their families," Collins said.

"I'm really proud of these two students, who are busy high school students involved in lots of extracurricular things but took their time to take the lead on this project," Assistant Principal John Gibson said.

The girls exceeded their goal of how much money they hoped to raise. Leftover funds will go toward the food pantry in Chesapeake Middle School.

"It's just a great feeling," Watts said when asked how it felt being named a Hometown Hero. "I never would've felt last year that we could've got this great honor."

The two students say after they graduate, their younger siblings will be carrying on the stocking tradition during the next few years.

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