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'Ketchup Kids' Help Principal Find True Calling

One Las Vegas school principal is working to provide families with food and clothes after discovering that some of her students were living off of stolen ketchup packets. Read Transcript


Reporter: LAS VEGAS,

THE LAND OF BRIGHT LIGHTS

AND BIG DREAMS.

NOT FAR FROM THE FAMOUS

STRIP, THOUGH, ARE THE

SHADOWS.

DREAMS SHATTERED, HOMES

FORECLOSED, AND HOPE HARD TO

FIND.

AT WHITNEY ELEMENTARY

SCHOOL, 85% OF THE STUDENTS

ARE EITHER HOMELESS ARE AT

RISK OF BECOMING HOMELESS.

WHEN PRINCIPAL SHERRY GONE

STARTED HERE ALMOST NINE

YEARS AGO, SHE IMMEDIATELY

NOTICED A PROBLEM: CHILDREN

WERE STUFFING THEIR PROBLEMS

WITH PACKETS OF KETCHUP AT

LUNGE.

SHE FOUND OUT THEY WERE

PLANNING TO MAKE KETCHUP

SOUP FOR DINNER BECAUSE

THEIR FAMILIES WERE SO POOR,

THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY FOOD.

SO SHE TOOK ACTION AND ASKED

FOR HELP, NOT FROM THE

GOVERNMENT, BUT THEIR OWN

COMMUNITY.

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO

WITH THE GOVERNMENT.

THIS IS OUT OF PEOPLE'S

HEARTS.

STRAIGHT CHARITY.

100% CHART.

Reporter: IT STARTED

WITH HANDING OUT BAGS OF

FOOD, ENOUGH TO GET THE KIDS

THROUGH THE WEEKENDS.

MS. GONE -- IF MY MOM

NEEDS HELP WITH THEIR MONEY,

SHE WOULD PAY OUR BILLS AND

GIVE US TOILET PAPER.

Reporter: PRINCIPAL

GONE'S HELP DIDN'T STOP WITH

PAYING UTILITIES.

SHE ALSO PAYS FOR DOCTORS

AND DENTISTS.

SHE BELIEVES IF THE KIDS

AREN'T IN SURVIVAL MODE,

THEY CAN BE IN WORKING MODE,

AND IT IS WORKING.

THESE ARE ALL

NON-PERISHABLES.

THESE ARE THINGS THEY DON'T

NEED GROWNUP ASSISTANCE

WITH.

Reporter: TEST SCORES

FOR WHITNEY'S STUDENTS HAVE

GROWN YEAR AFTER YEAR.

IN 2010, THE SCHOOL ACHIEVED

A KEY BENCHMARK ADEQUATE

DAILY PROGRESS.

DONATIONS ARE DELIVERED ON A

DAILY BASIS, THANKS FROM

HELP ALL OVER THE WORLD.

IF THE FAMILY NEEDS IT AND

ACCEPTS IT, THERE IS A

CATCH, THEY MUST TRY TO GET

A JOB AND THEIR KIDS HAVE TO

BE IN SCHOOL.

I SAID, I WILL PAY YOUR

UTILITY BILLS, BUT YOUR

CHILD'S ABSENTEEISM IS TOO

HIGH.

SHE NEEDS TO BE IN SCHOOL.

Reporter: WHAT DOES

THIS SAY TO YOU, TO SEE THIS

OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT.

DID YOU EVER, IN A MILLION

YEARS, THINK IT WOULD BE

SOMETHING LIKE THIS?

NO, NEVER.

I JUST DID IT.

WHEN I GOT HERE AND SAW THE

NEED, I LITERALLY SOARED.

I DIDN'T STOP TO THINK ABOUT

WHAT IT REALLY TOOK OR THE

NEXT DAY.

AND I WILL TELL YOU THERE

ARE A COUPLE OF TIMES ALONG

THE WAY WHERE I SAT CRYING,

THINKING I GOT WAY OVER MY

HEAD AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT

I'M GOING TO DO BECAUSEIú

NEXT DAY I DIDN'T KNOW HOW I

WAS GOING TO HAVE FOOD FOR

THE KIDS.

Reporter: THIS HAS

NEVER BEEN ABOUT YOU, I KNOW

THAT, BUT ON A PERSONAL

NOTE, OVERWHELMING AT TIMES?

OR IS THAT AN

UNDERSTATEMENT?

I'M GOING TO CRY,

BECAUSE, YEAH, IT'S

OVERWHELMING.

Reporter: IT IS NOT

EASY FOR MRS. GONE, BUT SHE

SAYS THE HUGS AND THANK

THANK YOUs MAKE ALL OF THE

HARD WORK WORTH IT.

Reporter: WHAT WOULD

HAPPEN IF YOU DIDN'T GET ANY

OF THIS HELP AND YOUR FAMILY

DIDN'T GET ANY OF THIS HELP

FROM WHITNEY.

I WOULD BE SAD, AND LOTS

OF PEOPLE WOULDN'T BE GOING

TO THE SCHOOL ANYMORE.

Reporter: POVERTY IN

LAS VEGAS, AND ACROSS THE

COUNTRY FOR THAT MATTER, HAS

GROWN TO A NEW LEVEL IN THIS

SLOW ECONOMY.

MRS. GONE WANTS THE STUDENTS

AT WHITNEY ELEMENTARY TO

KNOW, THOUGH, THAT THEIR

LIVES CAN BE DIFFERENT.

SHE IS SHOWING THAT ONE FOOD

BAG, NEW OUTFIT AND TOY AT A

TIME.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO

BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

I WANT TO BE IN THE

MARINES.

Reporter: YOU DO?

WHY IS THAT?

'CAUSE I WANT TO GIVE

BACK FOR WHAT THOSE PEOPLE

DID FOR ME.

Reporter: AND HOPE

RISES ONCE AGAIN IN LAS

VEGAS AT WHITNEY

ELEMENTARY.

DAVID BRODY, CBN NEWS.

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