When McDuffie County School Board member Mike Love was searching for a victim of Hurricane Katrina who needed help, he found just what he was looking for. Mr. Love said he went on the internet looking for school systems in Mississippi and Louisiana, with a "goal of finding one similar to ours."
There he saw Pass Christian, Miss. Three of the four schools in Pass Christian were totally destroyed, and the fourth one was flooded. More than 80 percent of the faculty, including the superintendent, are homeless.
Mr. Love contacted Teresa Burton, Pass Christian district technology coordinator, and discussed with her how the children of McDuffie County can help those in Pass Christian.
"I told her we have been collecting items, that our goal is to help more, to raise or get whatever they need," Mr. Love said.
Mr. Love said the schools have all been acting as donation centers, and students have been bringing items such as food and water, personal hygiene, school supplies, and toys. Mr. Love said THS students made "teen bags" containing items just for teens. And TMS held a contest to see which class could bring the most gallons of water.
Mr. Love felt compelled to help the hurricane victims after watching television footage of the hurricane damage, and seeing children playing with cardboard boxes. Mr. Love plans to personally deliver the donated items to Pass Christian on Saturday, October 1. He said he hopes to take other board members, faculty, and some children with him.
"If we've touched one child, then we've done what we set out to do," Mr. Love said.
Ms. Burton said that once their schools were "up and running," the pupils of Pass Christian would write thank you notes to those of McDuffie County.
"Let your county know that we are the ideal school district to adopt," Ms. Burton said.