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Local student raises money to help students during pandemic

DUNEDIN, Fla. — This year has been tough, but the kind actions of some, like Dunedin Elementary School fifth-grader Alexis Blakeslee, gives us hope.

“You can walk into our cafeteria. You can walk into a classroom and see evidence of her work,” said assistant principal Christina Murphy.

That evidence is more than 500 water bottles.

“It’s a beautiful act of kindness that impacted so many children,” said Murphy.

Blakeslee started out wanting to help her friend, Tampa Leverson. Students can’t drink from the water fountains because of the coronavirus. They’re all encouraged to bring their own water bottles.

Some students can’t afford them, and some forget to bring them. Those students are given plastic cups to use.

Blakeslee felt sad, so she came up with the idea of getting companies to donate water bottles to the school. All of the companies she went to said “no” so she turned to GoFundMe.

“I got $50 in 10 minutes,” she said.

In total, she raised over $525. She used that money to buy the water bottles from Walmart and got heavy-duty bottles for all of the fifth graders.

“Never in a million years did I think I would have been getting water bottles for my whole entire school,” she said.

Even though Blakeslee shared her plan with Leverson, she was still shocked when she got her water bottle.

“I didn’t expect her to actually do it,” said Leverson.

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