Middle school students in Hamden showed their appreciation to Red Cross first responders, by giving a special gift of handmade red crosses as a thank youTuesday.
The message of thanks echoed through Hamden Middle School on Tuesday morning as the Team Pioneer students proudly looked on at their hard work, after crafting 280 red crosses.
The students built the gifts after seeing the Red Cross volunteers rescue efforts in the wake of the devastating of hurricanes and wildfires across the country.
"Thank you, because it was a very big thing for them to go and help," said 11year-old James Kirby.
"I hope they feel congratulated and also that hard work pays off," said 13 year-old Lindsay Smith.
"It means a lot to me when I help others in the community," said 13 year-old Raymond Gray.
The students said this was a sign of appreciation for the lifesaving work the Red Cross volunteers from Connecticut have done.
The children are part of Team Pioneer and they are working on service and learning projects throughout the year. The wooden crosses are the student's latest venture and their teacher said the project means so much more.
"The real connection comes with your heart, your mind and your hands. Putting those things to work, maybe in a classroom or a shop, to make the world a better place," said Team Pioneer and Hamden Middle School science teacher, Chris Sagnella.
Over the next week, the Red Cross of Connecticut and Rhode Island will give the handmade red crosses to local volunteers.
Richard Branigan, the chief administrative officer at the Red Cross of Connecticut and Rhode Island, is among the people who went across the country to help after disasters struck.
"I'm hoping that I will get one," he said, as he held back tears. "And I think that knowing how it was made and everyone who receives one will know how it was made, it will mean a lot more."
It's a way for these kids to let these heroes know that their community cares.
"Help out the community and like, don't just think about yourself. Think about everybody else," said 7th grade Hamden Middle School student, Azoria Paige.