Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

March 30, 2012

'Helping people that really need it'

Diane Raver
The Herald-Tribune

-- — Oldenburg Academystudents and staff have been very active in service projects and helping others who are going through difficult times.

Most recently, they donated nonperishable items, including canned goods, personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies, to help those devastated by the March 2 tornadoes that struck Holton, Henryville and Marysville.

“The school community donated over 2,700 items and $500 for families affected by the tornadoes. These items were delivered to St. John’s Parish, Osgood, and were distributed  to local tornado victims,” reports Rebecca Boyle, OA marketing communications coordinator.

“Students are also hoping to participate in future service projects in the areas hit by the tornadoes, such as helping to clean fields so that farmers can plant their crops.”

Principal Bettina Rose points out, “It is truly a testament to the strength of our school community to have so many OA families raid their pantry, run to the store or give cash to help another community, easing the burden and pain many are now facing. On top of that, to watch students separate and pack the items to make it more efficient for those who are dispersing to the families is utterly heartwarming.”

Junior Cory Richter reveals, “Knowing that you are helping someone that you could know was most meaningful. It makes me feel happy knowing I’m helping people that really need it. It could have been me that was hit by the tornado.”

Classmate Sarah Cornett adds, “It was so amazing to see how much we were able to collect for these people. Our original goal was 450 items .... To me, it's a total miracle. Even though I didn't know anyone from the areas that the tornado hit, I still wanted to help out.”

Students have also been involved in other philanthropic efforts. Sophomore Elizabeth Bachus and freshman Hallie Kile headed up a project for the Smile Train. OA and St. Michael School, Brookville, students raised money for the organization “that gives free cleft lip and palate surgeries to babies in developing countries,” Bachus reports.

“We sold out of uniform passes at Oldenburg and collected the money to be sent straight to the Smile Train. We raised almost $800 altogether, which covers surgery for three babies with money left over!

“I personally  felt so happy, being a cleft lip baby myself, knowing that we could change their lives through this surgery. It makes me feel incredibly lucky to live where I do around amazing people.” For more information, persons can check out smiletrain.org.

Senior Tessa Larimer chaired the Christian Appalachian Project. It “involved the whole school. Each grade brought in a different type of item (hygiene products, towels and wash cloths, school supplies and socks) and the class that collected the most items per capita won an out of uniform day,” she says.

The donations were sent to Hagerhill, Ky. “I have worked with CAP before and working with them again makes me feel happy to know I can continue to help this organization.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 114; or diane.raver@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com