HARLINGEN — Gravy Train, toys, blankets, cat litter, mats …

Mervin Sandoval was all smiles as he and his teacher, Bianca Pecina, delivered about 500 items Saturday to the Humane Society of Harlingen.

“I feel proud to help animals in need, because I myself have animals,” said Mervin, 7, a second grader at Jubilee Harlingen.

Mervin and his fellow second graders had a class assignment about community service, said Pecina.

“They wanted to see how they could help the community, so they thought donations was the best,” Pecina said. “Somebody just thought donating to animals was the perfect way to help the community. It was something they could relate to, that hit home to them and they would want to help more.”

Soon, however, the project extended beyond second grade.

“We decided to get the whole school involved,” Pecina said. “The class that donated the most was going to get a pizza party.”

That pizza party went to a second-grade class which donated 124 items.

Pecina said she’s proud of the kids’ achievement.

“I believe the students learned so much from this donation,” she said. “They learned how they can help their community and how, when they all come together, we can all make a huge impact in our communities.”