LaGRANGE — Susan Hornsby, family liaison at Hollis Hand Elementary, knows the feeling of loss due to nature.
In 2011 when tornadoes and hurricanes ravaged through LaGrange, her family home off of Whitesville Road was destroyed. She lost everything and has a heart for the Baton Rouge community that is now picking up the pieces after recent disastrous floods. So she decided to do something about it.
Over a week ago, she began heading up the effort at Hollis Hand of collecting needed items for families impacted by the flood.
“They said they needed necessities like paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning items, diapers and wipes. We put out the word to our students and families, and they immediately started bringing in goods. We’ve had an amazing amount of donations,” said Hornsby.
On Wednesday, Hornsby and her sister loaded up a truck and trailer donated by Kemp’s Carpet for the drive south where she once lived, and where her father was pastor of a church in the Tangipahoa Parish that is east of Baton Rouge. On that trailer was loads of each item the students and families donated.
“We will be giving the supplies to two churches that are command posts,” Hornsby said. “The churches are using their gymnasiums to store, sort and distribute the donations to schools and families in need.”
Teachers have made the effort relevant in their classrooms by sharing video clips and students have watched weather-related broadcasts on the news.
“Students will bring donations in and tell me their family wants to help the people that lost everything,” Hornsby said. “The second grade classes brought in all medical supplies — gloves, gauze, Band-Aids. We’re excited that the students are learning about giving through this effort, as well.”
As an added bonus for the students, the grade level that donated the most items would be surprised with a Popsicle party.
“There were so many supplies, the truck and trailer were entirely filled, said Jack Morman, principal of Hollis Hand Elementary. “In this effort, we are all winners. We are going to have a big celebration on Tuesday because each student had a hand in making this a great donation drive.”
From a press release submitted by Troup County School System. To submit your organization’s press release, email it editor Matthew Strother at [email protected]