BonDeCroft helping school in North Carolina damaged by hurricane

By | October 8, 2018 6:05 am

Sara Jones Cope, principal at BonDeCroft, along with students and their parents, teachers, and staff, are “paying it forward” as they help a school in North Carolina that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Florence.

The death toll rose to almost 40 in North Carolina as a result of Hurricane Florence that hit the coast around the end of September. Residents in the coastal towns of the state are still trying to clean up the destruction that was left in Florence’s wake. Not only were houses damaged or destroyed but businesses and schools as well.

Now remember back to 2015 during the ice storm that hit White County. The damage was especially great on Bon Air Mountain where BonDeCroft Elementary School is located. Sara Cope, BonDeCroft Elementary principal, recalls that harrowing time and what their school and families had endured.

“Our playground was damaged, and a lot of families were out of electricity,” said Cope. “It looked like a tornado had come through here. Luckily, our school was not damaged. A lot of people from neighboring communities brought canned food and bottled water – food they didn’t have to cook because of no electricity. They brought blankets and heaters. I couldn’t imagine being that principal or teacher in North Carolina where their school and classrooms were damaged, so I wanted to take this opportunity to give back.”

Cope explained that when she approached her staff about the idea of adopting a school in North Carolina to send money and supplies to, they were all on board. She stated her students and staff had raised approximately $1,300 as of press time. Cope also said her school nurse and the nurse’s two children have volunteered to take the money and supplies to Stateside Elementary School, in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

“Our school nurse has a friend that works there,” said Cope. “She contacted them about helping, and they gave us the name of another school that had been damaged as well. We felt the selflessness of giving us another name was pretty special, so we decided to help them anyway because of that selflessness. She [the nurse] said that this would be a good opportunity to teach her boys about giving.”

Cope said the response they have received from other counties and churches has been tremendous. She said there were some churches, in Cookeville, that have offered to send food and water as well as a U-Haul trailer to transport the items. Cope said one of the most important things is the lesson being taught to her students about the entire ordeal.

“It’s good when people can help each other,” said Cope. “I thought it was a good opportunity to teach our kiddos what it’s like to give back.”

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