One School Pays It Forward
Indiana tornado victims help those impacted by Sandy
No one can truly understand what the victims of Sandy are going through — unless you also have experienced the devastation of a natural disaster.
The instant that Sandy hit, residents in Henryville, Indiana, knew what the people along the East Coast were experiencing. It wasn't that long ago when, on March 2, 2012, a tornado tore through this southern Indiana town. The Henryville community is keenly aware of how devastating a storm of this magnitude can be — the loss, the sorrow, the jarring reality that nothing will be the same, and that it would take work, time, and the compassion of others in order to recover.
Compassion is in ample supply among the students at Henryville High School. That is because they benefitted from many acts of kindness from people all over the world in order to return this August to their newly rebuilt school.
One act of kindness is especially memorable to Principal Troy Albert.
"There was a small school in Wisconsin whose first-grade students sent a card of hope the first week after the tornado," Principal Albert said. "The message was clear that many people across the county were thinking about us. This note was the first of many that touched my heart."
From the time Principal Albert received that first note, the school made a plan to pay it forward. While speaking at a Key Club event, Principal Albert challenged the school to earn $1,000 for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. The students were so moved by the stories coming out of the East Coast that they knew they had to respond. In five days, the donations exceeded their goal by nearly 50 percent. Before the Thanksgiving holiday, checks were sent to two schools on Staten Island (IS 43 and PS 52).
Although the people of Henryville are still recovering and rebuilding, they are well on their way. Principal Albert tells the Kids Press Corps that he is extremely blessed with outstanding, caring staff and students who have learned to help others first.
His advice to the victims of Sandy is, "Remember the sun comes up in the east each day — focus on the rebuilding and recovery — and have faith in God and the goodness of others."
You can find share your Hurricane Sandy experiences and find more coverage of the storm and its aftermath on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog.
HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY SPECIAL REPORT
Find out how kids across the country are helping the Hurricane Sandy relief effort — and catch up with the Kid Reporters' on-the-ground reporting during the storm — in the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Special Report.
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