Smiths Station class gets lesson in leadership during tornado cleanup

Local News

A group of Smiths Station High School students got a real lesson in leadership last week in the wake of the tornado that ripped through their community. 

These juniors and seniors are in Amber Pickard’s Leadership class. They do community service volunteer work throughout the year. 

When the need came last week, they filled plastic storage boxes with pieces of people’s lives that had been blown apart. 

The experience made an impression on the students. 

“So, we found several different items,” Katie Fillingim said. “We found sentimental items that were located outside of people’s homes. We found pictures. We found clothing. We found many personal items.” 

Fillingim is glad she did it. 

“Absolutely,” she said. “Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to be outside going through your own stuff or would you rather have someone help you during this horrific time? Noone planned for this to happen and just to have someone there to help, I feel like it took a lot off them.” 

Tallin Gordy agreed. 

“This house flipped over and we took a tote and sat it up by the road,” he said. “And if we found anything that had any kind of value to it, we just put it in the tote. And we did that for every house we could.” 

It was a real learning experience for Caitlyn Chancey. 

“You never know the value of something until you have nothing,” she said. “These families were so grateful that we were there to help. They were so nice to us, giving us water and drinks. To see how they had lost everything, and they were helping us.” 

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