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Elderly veteran who lost home in house fire gets help from Bettendorf elementary kids

BETTENDORF-- Students at Mark Twain Elementary School are pitching in, to help an elderly neighbor get back on his feet, Wednesday, January 31.

“We had stories of kids bringing in their allowances, searching through sofa cushions for change, looking in the car. (They are) just taking their dollar bills and bringing them in. They want to help,” says Principal Caroline Olson.

94-year-old, Max Wilson lost his home to a house fire on January 17.

Officers from the Bettendorf Fire Department say the fire was caused by a space heater in the garage. It was placed too close to combustible materials.

Wilson, who was inside the home at the time of the fire, made it out safely. However, Olson says he lost everything in the flames.

“I think the kids really picked up on that theme that we are a community. We’re here for each other and we are doing what we can to support him,” says Olson.

So far students raised more than $1,000. The school will continue to take donations until next Monday.

Students also made birthday cards to celebrate Wilson’s 95th birthday this weekend.

“It’s pretty amazing that a bunch of kids can do so much,” says 2nd grader Ethan Newton.

The school plans to present donations and gifts to Wilson, during an honor ceremony they’ll for him, Friday, February 23.