A group of seventh graders in Bellevue spent Monday evening honoring the lives of the shooting victims from recent school shootings.
About 40 students at Lewis and Clark Middle School sang Michael Jackson's "We Are the World" at the school's cafeteria in front of family and friends while displaying the faces of the victims killed in Parkland, FL and Santa Fe, TX on a big screen.
"This was all based off of our students," said Principal Michael Smith. "They had the idea and came to us and all the adults involved were just excited."
Seventh graders Caili McMichael and Lydia Torres led the planning for the tribute. They said a class project about Africa ignited them to listen to 'We Are the World.' It was then when the Parkland shooting took place.
"We were in class and this kid yelled there was a shooting in Florida. We all got emotional, especially our teacher who helped organize this and so this happened and we were like, we need to do something," said McMichael.
For months, the students planned the special performance and even included kindness cards and donation jars at each table to raise money for shooting victims.
"You don't have to give money, but you can give your kindness out to people and that will make a bigger change that will help prevent the harsh things and will spread love and kindness and family and nobody will be lonely and people won't end up doing all of these terrible things," said Torres.
The students raised over $400 on Monday.
"You know it's just a small project, it's not like people in Washington D.C. are going to know about it but it's just nice to make a difference in the community," added McMichael. "It's just kind of helping our community be nice to each other and make people feel like they're not lonely or they aren't left out because people who go out and shoot schools, they're lonely and they have a problem because they've been bullied or something so it's just nice to know that someone cares."