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Shady Side Academy Middle School Dress Down For KDKA-TV Turkey Fund

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The KDKA-TV Turkey Fund has been going on for 34 years now.

In that time, it has raised more than $14 million to help feed our neighbors in need.

Today, students at a local middle school got involved in the giving.

Things were just a little more relaxed at Shady Side Academy Middle School.

"We have a uniform. We have to wear a collared shirt and a belt. We can't wear jeans, which I am wearing today," Elizabeth Curley said.

Elizabeth and Rishi Bahri helped come up with the idea of doing a dress down day.

Kids paid $5 to wear whatever they want to school -- with the money going to KDKA-TV Turkey Fund.

"Everyone in the school wants to help other people. That's like, we have guiding principles. That's kindness, respect. We have to just like give back to the community," Bahri said.

Yet, sometimes the kids need a little direction.

"I think it's something that has to be taught. It has to be shown to them and our kids do want to give, but we have to show them where they can give -- show them that it can start small and then get big," Shady Side Academy teacher Lauren Messner said.

Students talked about hunger back in October during their Global Action Days. A month later, they are putting their money where their mouth is -- so to speak.

"We are giving $5 instead of $2 or $3 because it's the Thanksgiving holiday times and we just wanted to give back and make sure they have a nice holiday," Curely said.

"They are middle schoolers so they love to get a treat out of something so dressing down is huge for them, and $5 is something that can make a big difference. If it costs $15 to feed a family at Thanksgiving -- you know, we have about 180 students so 60 families is a big deal," Messner said.

The signs have been posted and participation is overwhelming. As for how much they think they will raise??

"I don't know, but hopefully a lot," Bahri said.

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