Volunteers collect plastic to build benches in honor of Santa Fe HS shooting victims

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- A community project could provide some Santa Fe community members with comfort after the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School.

Instead of taking a spring break trip, a group of volunteers spent hours finding joy in another way.

Santa Fe student Brook Bigford says sorting through plastic may be tedious, but she doesn't mind.

"I love the project, and I know that it's going towards a good cause," Bigford said.

The project required thousands of people to donate lids, including water, soda and peanut butter bottles.

The goal eight months ago was 2,000 pounds, but the group raised double that amount.

"I'm getting better," Bigford said. "It was hard at first, but I feel like making a difference is really helping me."

Ten months ago, 10 people were killed at the high school when Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire inside the campus.

As the one year anniversary approaches, the Resiliency Center wanted to do something to honor the victims.

"What we will be doing is turning them into 10 memorial benches to honor those who had fallen on the May 18 shooting," Santa Fe Resiliency Center spokesperson Wendy Norris said.

Once bagged, the plastic will be delivered to a business in Indiana that turns plastic into benches.

"Benches provides that place to sit and reflect. It's a long-term thing that will be there for years to come," Norris said.

Before the plastic can be shipped, the group of volunteers have to keep sorting.

"I want them to think that things are changing," Bigford said. "Somebody is doing something about it to make other people feel better."

The group is still trying to figure out where the benches will go. The goal is to have the benches finished before the one year anniversary in May.
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