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Elementary school student organizes candy campaign for troops

Posted at 8:04 PM, Nov 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-10 20:04:53-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - It was a huge amount of candy--bags and bags of treats were brought in by the kids at Virginia Beach's John B. Dey Elementary, but it wasn't for them to enjoy.

Fourth grader Lauren Fenty had an idea.

"I wrote a letter out to my school and almost everyone replied and they started bringing in, like pounds of candy."

This is a portion of that letter:

"And I would like to support those military men and women who continue to serve our country.  I would like for kids at John B. Dey to donate their extra Halloween candy to deployed military service members."

The entire school got in on this three day effort raising nearly 780 pounds of candy.

Lauren's mom, Kristen Fentey, says this isn't the first time Lauren's taken action and gotten results.

"Literally, since she was about four years old, she's wanted to do things for charity. Everything from doing a lemonade stand for the kids in the shelter, donating gifts at Christmas time."

Due to Lauren's candy campaign,  we wanted to take the opportunity during a school assembly to honor her with People Taking Action award, plus a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.

Also in attendance at the school assembly were members from Ft. Story's 11th Transportation Battalion, who partnered with the school.

Lt. Matthew Wheeler points out this simple gesture of sending candy to deployed troops means a lot.

"It's more than candy,  it's support and it's just knowing that people care about them and what they're doing. Lauren's grandfather, Michael Ilsemann, a Vietnam Veteran was also there. He's very proud of how Lauren is thinking about the troops. "It's very warming. It really, really warmed my heart."

Lauren has learned at an early age to value our troops.

"Well they're out there serving for us like, they can be out there for months at a time, weeks at a time, and we want to help them and just make them happy."