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Boys at Madison elementary rally for hurricane victims

MADISON – A few boys at Madison Elementary School felt a need to help people whose property was damaged — or obliterated — by Hurricane Michael in the Florida panhandle.  

Fifth-graders Ashton Bullard, Corban Johnson, Chandler Taylor and Cambridge Wilson “took it upon themselves to collect bottled water, canned goods and trash bags. These kids did this without fanfare,” library media specialist Bonnie Howard said.

The boys “had empathy for the people affected and took action to help. True global citizens … thinking globally and acting locally,” Howard said.

The students wanted to collect items that they knew the Floridians needed and had requested, primarily cleaning supplies, counselor Stefanie Cook said.

“Our school believes in taking care of others. Students are always finding others in need and reaching out to find ways to help them,” Cook said. The boys created posters, prepared messages for the morning announcements at the school and collected the items on their own to help the Floridians. 

Parents encouraged their sons. However, they allowed their sons to complete their outreach efforts by themselves.

Learning about the boy’s efforts, Michelle Dupasquier, Technology Assistant at Madison Elementary, contacted Todd Montgomery, a resident of the Panama City area. Students at Palm Bay Academy in proximity to Panama City, Fla. received the boys’ donations.

“The school there suffered devastation. They really have nothing,” Cook said. Unfortunately, individuals then looted the school building of any remaining furnishings that they could steal.

“Todd came up from Florida to meet the boys and took the supplies back to Florida,” Cook said.

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