Eighth-graders Haley Coulombe, left, and Abigail Santillo pose with a poster they made for a fundraising effort at Mountain Valley Middle School to help Hurricane Irma victims in Florida.

Mountain Valley Middle School teacher Tammy Brown makes a $1 donation to help Hurricane Irma victims in Florida. The fundraising effort is being held this week by eighth-graders Haley Coulombe, left, and Abigail Santillo.

MEXICO — A pair of Mountain Valley Middle School eighth-graders are holding a fundraising drive to help victims of Hurricane Irma in Florida.

Haley Coulombe and Abigail Santillo placed a homemade poster about Hurricane Irma on a desk inside the front entrance of the school and sat behind the desk with a decorated coffee can to collect $1 donations. The girls announced their project over the intercom.

Their drive will end Friday morning.

As of Wednesday morning, the girls had collected $40.

“We were sitting in class one day and she (Haley) was talking about hurricanes,” Abigail said.

Abigail suggested they try to help people in the middle Harvey in Texas.

“But we ended up doing this for Hurricane Irma,” Haley said.

“I have cousins and family that live in Jacksonville and Tampa who were both affected,” Abigail said. “But thank God they got out and are OK.”

The girls mentioned their idea to a teacher, who talked to others.

Teacher Craig Milledge said the teachers sat down and talked about where to give the money.

“We decided the American Red Cross,” he said. “We just knew they were reputable and would allocate it in the best way possible.”

Abigail and Haley went home and made a poster containing pictures.

Abigail pointed to a picture of a guy who lost his home and was holding a dog for support.

“That’s my favorite ’cause it makes me feel like he’s lost everything, which is horrible,” she said. “So the best he could do is have the dog help him through it.”

The girls wrote on the poster: “Can’t do as much as we would like to, but at least we can help out with something! We love you, Florida. MVMS.”

Principal Ryan Casey said, “Those guys are awesome. We want to raise young adults that can see the bigger picture — the community and the world.”

The girls said as a result of this effort, they have more of an interest in current events. They said they’re interested in doing a similar fundraiser in the future.

“I would definitely do this again,” Haley said.

People can also donate by contacting the school office at 364-7926.

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