SAUCIER, Miss. (WLOX) - A busload of West Wortham Elementary students and staff made their way to Saucier Elementary on Monday to lend a helping hand with the recovery from Hurricane Zeta. The storm left significant damage to Saucier Elementary, ripping parts of the roof off and classroom damage that caused the campus to close for nearly two weeks.
“We had water damage, roof damage, library, cafeteria,” said Saucier Elementary principal, Sarah Purvis. “So, we were out seven days longer than the other schools were. But we’re back and our kids are resilient.”
West Wortham Elementary students and staff wanted to find a way to help their sister school recover, so they created a two-week “Smiles for Saucier” campaign.
“After the hurricane, our students were discussing the things that happened at Saucier. We had parents, teachers, lots of people that were really sad about what happened,” said Michelle Barrow, a gifted teacher at West Wortham.
Barrow said some of her students who have attended Saucier Elementary wanted to do something to bring a smile to students’ and teachers’ faces after a rough return following Zeta. For two weeks, Barrow collected donations.
“We had notebook paper, pencils, binders, staplers, tape,” Barrow said. “Just anything that the students wanted to bring to put a smile on a teacher or a student’s face.”
The supplies filled boxes and backpacks. Barrow said they even had students write letters of inspiration to Saucier Elementary teachers and students.
West Wortham Elementary students and teachers unloaded the bus to distribute all the donations to Saucier’s principal and teachers at the front office. The staff at Saucier Elementary was thrilled and lost for words because they had no idea the school would receive so much support.
“It makes me feel very appreciative. And being a part of West Wortham for so long, I feel like that’s home for me, as well as this is. But I also know how much they care about this school,” said Saucier Elementary Principal Sarah Purvis.