‘Children Helping Children’ inspires local students
By Katherine Miller
Ms. Patricia Johnson, teacher at Crowley High School has always had a heart for giving. She has been instrumental in such times of crisis as Hurricane Katrina and organizes a local food drive annually.
In the wake of the recent earthquake in Haiti, Johnson explained that the moment that touched her was when she learned that people were caught trying to escape with Haitian children.
“I wanted to something to get the entire school system involved, so one morning I spoke to Ms. Tammy Meche’s class about collecting care packages to send for the children of Haiti,” explained Johnson.
Right away, Jake Daigle, a senior who also serves as Student Council president volunteered to become her assistant. He stated, “Of course Ms. Johnson. I believe in that!”
Daigle’s great enthusiasm was an important factor in the project. “It helped to keep me going,” she said.
Shortly afterward, the project, which became known as “Children Helping Children: Hope in A Bag” took off.
Each homeroom class was provided a flyer that listed one essential item for each student to bring, strictly on a voluntary basis.
Johnson stated that she had no idea the response that she and partners in charge of the project would encounter.
Members of the Student Council donated 68 bags that were packed with the needed supplies for the children. Amber Lynn Guillotte and Blake Thibodeaux provided the artwork for the flyers that each homeroom received.
“The supplies just kept coming and coming. It gave me chills just to know that these kids care. This was truly from their hearts,” Johnson said with pride.
“I was so happy to see that Ms. Johnson’s vision was coming alive. The feeling was extremely surreal and empowering,” said an enthusiastic Daigle.
The next step, as explained by Johnson, took the most time.
Unfortunately, she said, many times in times of need we donate supplies or funds only to find we never truly know where they are going or if they have been received by the right people.
She began sending emails and making phone calls to investigate and find a truthful organization.
“That’s when I received a call from KATC. They had heard of my dilemma and put us in contact with Mr. Rodney Ryder,” Johnson said.
Ryder, who works with Med Express Ambulance Service and is a member of Compassion Services International, a Christian relief service provider dedicated to providing emergency relief during the disasters.
Ryder and his team came to the school Tuesday to gather the supplies and hand deliver them over the next couple of weeks even promising to send photos of the children receiving the supplies.
“It was awesome to see everything just come into place. God is good!” exclaimed Johnson.