Dear Decaturish – Please remember Hurricane Michael victimsTyndall Elementary School. Photo obtained via Go Fund Me
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Dear Decaturish and its readers:
This week, it’s likely that dozens of Decatur families will visit the Florida panhandle. The area is a popular school break destination for many affluent families in the city, yet one that has received little aid since Hurricane Michael hit last October.
Relief efforts have been slow in the months since the natural disaster. For us, here in Atlanta, it’s something we put out of sight and out of mind. For children at Tyndall Elementary, it’s another story.
When Hurricane Michael hit in October, the roof to their school building was torn off among other damages. Hundreds of students were displaced, their belongings and homes ravaged by the first Category 4 hurricane on record to hit this region. The building, which was repaired relatively quickly compared to other panhandle schools, reopened in mid-December with less than half the students returning.
As part of my senior project at Decatur High, I have chosen to run a school supply drive for the affected children at Tyndall Elementary in partnership with my friend, Sophie Koenig. In the previous weeks, we ran this drive at Decatur High as well as a few local elementary schools but received few donations. The items that remain in greatest need are headphones, toilet paper, and various office supplies; which can be purchased through donations from this Go Fund Me page.
We’re finishing up the drive now and plan to head to Tyndall next Thursday, Feb. 21. I urge everyone in the Decatur community to help out in any way they can. If not through this drive, then perhaps another or through volunteer work in the panhandle region.
Unfortunately, the Hurricane Michael relief effort has been slow and half-hearted, but I aim to change that. I hope the rest of Decatur will share this sense of urgency and help out in any way possible.
-Aiden Gibbs, DHS senior