HOLT, Mich. (WILX) - Students at rival high schools are starting a competition aimed at helping the homeless in Mid-Michigan.
Starting Monday, Holt and Grand Ledge students will be collecting coins and supplies to give to the Cardboard Prophets.
"Seeing some people just have nothing and other people have a lot of stuff, it just breaks my heart," said Analia Whitehead, a senior at Holt High School helping organize the drive.
Students hope a competition with their crosstown rivals will bring in more donations for the homeless. Both schools are getting the community involved too, leaving collection jars at local stores
"When we tell the students this is to beat Holt they're like 'Oh I definitely want to do it,'" said Katy Mulder a senior at Grand Ledge High School. "You think you're just getting pennies but the amount of pennies that people are willing to bring in just to help others is unreal."
Those pennies helped 59 people stay in temporary shelters last year, according to Cardboard Prophets Founder Mike Karl.
"Sometimes that's all they need a couple nights to get back on their feet," Karl said.
Karl is also doing his part to raise awareness. Starting Saturday Karl will live on the streets for a week.
"Sometimes that's all the community needs to get involved is to see the real stories and faces of people that are out there," Karl explained. "Love and kindness go a long way. Your small act of kindness starts a ripple and that ripple will continue on."
While Karl is on the streets, the students have their work cut out.
At the end of the week the aptly named Mike Karl trophy goes to the school with the most donations, but students know its just a runner up to the real prize.
"The simple things that we did helped make a huge impact in other people's lives," Whitehead added.
Both school districts are collecting donations, including socks, chapstick, hand and feet warmers, and nonperishable microwaveable good. Donations can be dropped off at Grand Ledge Elementary Schools and at any Holt School.
The coin drive will be held at the Grand Ledge Middle and High School and all Holt Schools.