Quapaw Students Donate Trip Money To Community

Wednesday, April 30th 2014, 6:57 pm
By: Craig Day

About 450 customers are still without power in Quapaw and Baxter Springs after Sunday's deadly tornado. Along with survival stories, there are countless stories of people helping others in need.

On another day of recovery in Quapaw after the tornado, the rain slowed things down a bit. It's going to take some time to clean up the damage caused by the tornado, but some students are proving age doesn't matter when it comes to lending a helping hand.

4/29/2014 Related Story: Volunteers Pour In To Help Quapaw Tornado Victims

Workers are busy clearing debris with heavy equipment, while utility crews are trying to get power back on to everyone. Service was restored to the school quickly in Quapaw, so school was only out one day.

High School Principal Terry Tyree said, "Kids need structure. The quicker we can get them back in school, we felt like that would be a better place for them to be."

Once back in class, the 35 students in Quapaw's senior class all agreed the money they've raised all year to pay for their senior trip to Dallas should be used to help their town.

"It makes me very proud of my classmates and my friends that they would do this," said senior James Morton.

Their $2,000 in trip money will be given to help storm victims instead.

Senior Andrew Lasiter said, "The money we raised came from the community, so we wanted to return it. That was only right. They supported us, so we wanted to support them."

Tyree said their giving spirit is special.

"The people down at city hall, they just started crying, it touched them so much they wanted to give that money back to the community," Tyree said.

Instead of going on their trip this Friday, the students will spend the entire day doing cleanup work in their town, for their friends and neighbors.

"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," said Morton.

It's a small sacrifice that will make a big difference. The students won't have the memories of the senior trip, but will make a memorable impact on others.

Many of the storm victims are getting help from various relief organizations, or they're staying with relatives now.

I've seen several insurance adjusters in Quapaw, so hopefully that will help speed up things as storm victims get on the road to recovery.