Maggie: Last month, a deadly storm system unleashed dozens of tornadoes across six states in the South, devastating local communities. Now one of those small towns is beginning to rebuild, in part, thanks to one act of generosity lead by that town’s graduating class of high school seniors. Check it out.
One of the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma last month destroyed dozens of homes and business in the town of Quapaw. Volunteers from the community helped clean up and begin to rebuild, but some high school students went a step further.
James Morton: It makes me very proud of my classmates and my friends that they would do this.
Maggie: The 35 students in Quapaw’s senior class all agreed the money they raised all year to pay for their senior trip to Dallas should go to their town. So they donated $2,000 to help the storm victims.
Andrew Lasiter: The money we raised for our trip came from the community, so we wanted to return it. That was only right. They supported us, so we should support them.
James: Dallas is still there, but our town was almost destroyed. And we need to be here to clean up because we can always go to Dallas.
Maggie: And instead of going on their trip, they spent the day doing cleanup work for their friends and neighbors.
Principal Terry Tyree: And the people down at city hall, they just started crying. It touched them so much to know they want to give that money back to the community.
Maggie: Their generosity didn’t go unnoticed. After hearing their story, donations came flooding in from people who wanted those seniors to still go on a senior trip.
Zayariah Sargent: We were just like, ‘what?’ We didn’t really understand what was going on, honestly, I don’t think.
Maggie: Thirty-five thousand dollars of donations. And since many of the donors specifically sent money for the trip, the students now get to spend $10,000 instead of $2,000, meaning they will get way more than they ever expected. And they are using the rest of the donations to build a city park.
Jesse Morton: This town needs something for the children.
Maggie: So, as many tornado victims work to rebuild, construction will begin soon on the new park.
Zayariah: I hope to see parents and their little kids out there or junior high kids out there playing basketball and stuff like that.
Maggie: And for years to come, people will see that something good can come from something terrible, thanks to the senior class of 2014.
Principal Tyree: Great group of kids. We’re proud of them.
Maggie: If you want to make an impact just like these seniors did, head to the Impact section of ChannelOne.com to find projects, now and all summer long.