An eighth grader from La Quinta is making a difference one backpack at a time. Thirteen-year-old Nelly Valencia tells us her mission is simple: to send school supplies to kids who were affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Mexico a couple of months ago.
"When a child gets that backpack they are going to think, oh they didn’t forget about us."
Nelly Valencia is talking about the kids who lost their schools after a 7.1 magnitude quake devastated Mexico back in September.
"Schools collapsed, and just normal office buildings and I was like oh my God, I felt really bad for these people."
However, this eighth grader from Colonel Mitchell Paige middle school didn’t just sit there and watch what was going on, she did something about it.
"I knew people were donating food and money so I was like, something different, why not get something that the kids need for their school."
Pretty soon, her idea of starting a backpack drive became a reality. On November first, almost every school in the Desert Sands Unified School District had bins, where anyone could donate backpacks filled with supplies.
"We have school supplies like pencils, sharpeners, notebooks, like main things like erasers and stuff like that."
Nelly told us that although things worked out in the end, there were still bumps along the road.
"The main challenge was how to get them there."
However, Nelly heard that the Mexican consulate was sending trucks to the states to pick up donations.
"So, I told my mom this is a great opportunity to take the first shipment of backpacks."
She then hosted an event called "Uno Mas Por Mexico" and was able to ship 96 backpacks.
While this might seem like a big deal to some, Nelly says she isn’t done yet.
"I want to see their expressions when they hand them a backpack, and they are like oh my God and really happy."
Almost as happy and as proud as she has made both her principal and her mom.
Ana Carbajal, Nelly mom is over the moon that her daughter was able to pull this off.
"I feel very very nice with my daughter’s incredible idea and i said let’s do it. We need to help those kids."
Janet Seto, Nelly’s principal also had a few things to say.
"I just think hats off to her and her mom and if we had every kid be like that, we’d have a great world."
The backpack drive is still going on until the end of the month. All you have to do is drop off a backpack at any Desert Sands Unified School.