Nebo Stu­dents at SHHS De­liver Ran­dom Act of Kind­ness

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Lana Hiskey for Serve Daily

Salem Hills High School (SHHS) stu­dents de­liv­ered kind­ness and sup­port across the United States to Mar­jorie Stone­man Dou­glas (MDS) High School stu­dents in Park­land, Florida. If you have ever been a part of Salem Hills High, you know that the school cul­ture fo­cuses on sup­port­ing each other and oth­ers as well as chang­ing the world with good­ness.

This past week when the school heard of the tragic shoot­ing at Mar­jorie Stone­man Dou­glas High School in Park­land, Florida, many stu­dents and fac­ulty felt the urge to reach out in some way. The fi­nance of­fice tech­ni­cian, Kathy Chris­tensen, was plan­ning a va­ca­tion and hap­pened to be trav­el­ing to Florida in the com­ing days. When she re­al­ized she would be within an hour’s drive of Park­land, she came up with an idea. Stu­dents at SHHS cre­ated two large posters on which many were able to send a small mes­sage of hope, em­pa­thy, and

com­pas­sion to the stu­dents of MSD High School. It would be a small ges­ture, but would give our stu­dents a chance to reach out and do some­thing in the face of help­less­ness.

Kathy took the posters with her on her flight and then drove to the school with no idea how or where to de­liver the mes­sage to MSD stu­dents. In her words, “We ap­proached some po­lice of­fi­cers and asked them where would be the best place to hang or hand over the posters. I re­ally was amazed how kind and help­ful they were con­sid­er­ing the chaos and over­whelm­ing sad­ness their com­mu­nity had re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced." Kathy con­tin­ued, “They directed us to Park­land Park, where a me­mo­rial had been set up. We were ap­proached im­me­di­ately by par­ents of stu­dents from MSD High School. We cried with them as they shared their chil­dren's ex­pe­ri­ences of that tragic day with us. They in­vited us to their church and prayer ser­vice which we gra­ciously ac­cepted. They helped us hang our posters, and peo­ple im­me­di­ately swarmed to read the beau­ti­ful mes­sages our stu­dents wrote.”

Al­most im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the de­liv­ery and hang­ing of the posters, a par­ent from the school wrote Mr. Peery an email thank­ing him for the act of kind­ness. Michael Macleod wrote:

“Prin­ci­pal Peery, As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal White and As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Reynolds - Thank you, your fac­ulty and your stu­dents for send­ing your poster boards of sup­port. I wasn't cer­tain if any­one sent you pho­tos of how they are dis­played, so I thought I would take a few pho­tos from last night and this morn­ing to show you. I’m not sure of the con­nec­tion be­tween your school and ours but I was par­tic­u­larly moved by this in­cred­i­bly thought­ful ges­ture. My son is a ju­nior at Dou­glas and man­aged to come home safely, but we mourn those who did not re­turn to their fam­i­lies.

“In the pho­tos, on the stage, you can see the 17 an­gels il­lu­mi­nated last night, and your poster boards are dis­played in the front. Thank you again for your act of kind­ness and please ex­tend our grat­i­tude to the stu­dents and fac­ulty who helped to or­ga­nize this dis­play. It means a lot to the en­tire com­mu­nity here in Park­land.”

One SHHS stu­dent, Sadie Ste­wart, who wrote her In­sta­gram han­dle on the poster re­ceived mes­sages of grat­i­tude from a stu­dent at MSD who said, “I want to say thank you for the poster. Us here in Park­land greatly ap­pre­ci­ate it and I sat here cry­ing read­ing all of y’alls sig­na­tures and con­do­lences to us. See­ing this at the me­mo­rial is awe­some and I just wanted to say thank you from Park­land and Coral Springs Florida.” In the face of im­mea­sur­able sad­ness, it is heart­warm­ing when a small group of ded­i­cated in­di­vid­u­als can reach out and make a small dif­fer­ence. SHHS stu­dents and fac­ulty are chang­ing the world.

A poster from Salem Hills High School hangs in Park­land, Florida.

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