Just days before heading back to the classroom for a new school year, more than 60 MICDS high school football players, their managers and coaches took a road trip to help flood victims.
On Tuesday, they headed to Waynesville in Pulaski County, an area recovering from intense flooding. First the group stopped by the Multi-Agency Relief Center (MARC) at Westside Baptist Church. While their presence was not announced, word quickly got around. Standing in a single file line, they nearly circled the large gym area. When the other agencies and community members found out why they were there – spontaneous applause filled the room.
Next the group went to the Waynesville city park to help with the cleanup efforts. One part of the group worked to remove flood debris from around the park, while others used shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows to level out and redistribute gravel in the play areas.
“These generous students dedicated one of their last days of summer vacation to help families they don’t even know. Their efforts will mean that flooding clients get relief faster,” said Cindy Erickson, CEO of the American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region. “The entire community is grateful for their hard work.”
A local Red Cross exec shared with the group the appreciation from Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman – that while they may not be the ones who rescued people by boat, or among the first responders who worked all night to save lives—the fact that they came all the way from St. Louis to help the community recover means more than words can say. They brought compassion and caring, as well as the willingness to work – and that gives Waynesville increased hope for recovery.
“They were amazing and I hope their sponsors were pleased with the experience and that the team members will remember always the appreciation of the community,” said Debi Meeds, CEO of the American Red Cross Southern Missouri Region.
To date, the Red Cross has provided nearly 160 overnight stays in three shelters and distributed nearly 6000 meals and snacks, nearly 200 clean-up kits and more than 820 bulk items such as gloves, shovels and bug spray. The students joined more than 120 Red Cross employees and volunteers who are helping in the relief efforts.
MICDS is a nonprofit, independent preparatory school in St. Louis for students in grades junior kindergarten through twelve, offering non-sectarian education to qualified students regardless of national origin, race or religion.