A Creek County town devastated by wildfires is preparing to send its kids back to school Thursday.
More than 70 students in Mannford Public Schools lost their homes to wildfires. Those children received free school supplies Tuesday night, to start the school year off right.
There are 72 students in Mannford Public Schools who were left homeless, and now they can count a backpack full of school supplies amongst the very few belongings they have left.
They're smiling more, now that they get free school supplies.
"Because I know that people are standing by us and trying to help us," said 11-year-old, Dustin Leonard.
People and communities from all over Green Country donated these supplies to kids who lost their homes in the fires.
"We had a lot of different people just start bringing things in, and then we had some other community service groups that came in and brought stuff in, then the Creek Nation brought stuff in, Osage Nation—it just kinda started showing up," Steve Waldvogel, Mannford Superintendent said.
Backpacks, folders, paper, crayons and every other item they need: it's a small gift that goes a long way for kids who've been through tremendous tragedy.
Fifteen-year-old Jaci Lawless's family evacuated their home and came back to nothing the next day.
"We lost almost everything. We got pictures and stuff out, but that's about it. It feels like so little now that we don't have anything else," Lawless said.
She said getting a free backpack full of supplies helps financially and emotionally.
"We think, people don't really want to help, that we have bad people in this world, but then you see the good that everyone does and it's really nice to see," Lawless said.
No matter what their view is on class starting back up, the students say this will be a year they'll never forget.
Mannford Schools received so many donations; the superintendent invited about forty homeless kids from the Olive and Drumright school districts to get free school supplies, too.