KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- A group of local middle school students are using art to reach out to their pen pals in Japan.
Students at Bearden Middle School are displaying their creative work at DaVinci's Pizzeria and Calzones
on Sutherland Avenue - while helping to raise money for the Red Cross' effort to help Japan's disaster victims.
On Sunday, DaVinci's donated a dollar to the Red Cross for every pizza and calzone they served.
While the students' art work will be featured at the pizzeria during April, hoping to inspire diners to donate.
Many of the students have pen pals in Japan and have been concerned about the disaster there.
Art teacher Michael Weininger, who once taught there, thinks it's a unique way to raise funds.
Michael Weiniger says "I have several ties to Japan and when I heard what happy I was devastated of course we were doing this anyway so for us to tie it in to Japan made sense to me."
"The need is huge. I think there are over 2,000 shelters set up currently so it's going to be different thing. Dollars are going to be needed just like a year ago in Haiti we're still there working in Haiti right now so this is not something any short-need recovery is gonna take care of it's going to be a long road."
So far, the Red Cross raised over 123 million dollars nationwide to help the earthquake stricken nation.