The students of Middleburg Community Charter School recently learned that even kids as young as kindergarten can help improve the lives of others in need.
After they heard about how hard many schools in Louisiana were hit by the devastating flood in August, they decided to adopt an elementary school and gather donations to restore some of what was lost.
Allison Swisher, counselor at the charter school, is from the Denham Springs, LA, area, one of the parishes that was completely flooded. She contacted a counselor that she knew at Freshwater Elementary School to ask what her team in Middleburg could do to help.
“They were ecstatic,” she said. “Typically, in any community when someone needs help other people nearby pull together and help out. In this situation, the whole community needed help, so they had to look outside of their community.”
The school had lost everything, so Swisher put a call out to Middleburg parents and students, asking for donations. She also tied it into a classroom lesson on how to show kindness to others. The response was huge, Swisher said. Students and their families donated books, paper, crayons, athletic equipment, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes and gift cards to Amazon and Target.
Some of the schools in Louisiana that were flooded will likely have to be flattened and completely rebuilt, but the school community of Freshwater Elementary was able to return to its building early last month.
Swisher said the homes of every one of her friends and family in and around Denham Springs was severely flooded. Her parents are still living in a two-bedroom apartment with four other people because there is such a shortage of housing. But she said Middleburg’s donation effort provided some encouragement and support when it was needed most.
“I think people are unaware that there’s so much devastation,” she said. And of the folks at Freshwater Elementary she added, “They were so happy to get the supplies.”