Bangor students get surprise gift from across the state

"Everyone's happy, it was really nice of them to come all the way over here, to a small town that a lot of people don't know about, and do this for our school," said student Sydnee Holder.

Posted: Dec 21, 2017 5:13 PM

"We woke up and our friend had texted us, we looked out our window and saw the fire at the park," said Trevor Giese, a student and Bangor resident.

It's been nearly three months, but the memory is all too fresh for those who were there when the La Porte tore through Bangor in early October, destroying 37 homes.

"All these kids were left with nothing ... My grandfather works up here, he's part of the "First-Tee" program and he's like, 'Hannah, you've got to come up here', and I was like, 'I'm on my way'," said Hannah Ortiz, a philanthropic high school student from Orange County.

Ortiz and her Best Friend Kate Giddings have done holiday fundraising in their Orange County community for years. But this year, they saw an even greater need in the North State.

"It's pretty great - they didn't even know us and the just came and did all this for us," said Giese.

"We normally just give hygiene kits to the homeless, so this is the first big event," said Kate Giddings.

"We sent out an E-blast a week before we sent out the presents, our goal was $1,500," said Ortiz.

The initial goal was to provide every family with a full Christmas dinner, but the outpouring was so great, every child went home with a hand-wrapped gift.

"We wrapped all of them, put the name tags, the bows," said Ortiz.

"I was just so excited to see all these kids, and their heats filled," said Giddings.

"It's really nice of them to do this," said Bangor student Nya Belcastro.

"Everyone's happy, it was really nice of them to come all the way over here, to a small town that a lot of people don't know about, and do this for our school," said student Sydnee Holder.

"It means the world to me to see the smiles on their faces. That's all I wanted for Christmas is to see what they got, I don't need anything else, my heart is full when I came here," said Ortiz.

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Warm temperatures and a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger are ahead for our region today. The heat ramps up this weekend and that will prompt an Excessive Heat Watch for the valley and foothills.
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