Schools spearhead relief efforts

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By Lyndsey Gilpin

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Although media coverage of the Alabama tornado damage lessens as weeks pass by, relief efforts across the nation - and across Bullitt County - remain strong. 

David Pate, principal of Shepherdsville Elementary, was raised in Tuscaloosa, the city most devastated by the storms. He graduated from the University of Alabama and has many family members that still live in the area. 

“It’s been very emotional,” he said. “I can only watch the coverage in small chunks because it’s hard to handle.” 

Pate’s concern led him to start an Alabama disaster relief drive with his church, Willisburg Church of God in Washington County. A group of members, including Pate, visited the disaster areas to help the relief agencies and see what resources were needed. 

All Bullitt County public schools are participating in the drive; Pate is trying to spread the word to other county school systems and ministries across counties. People are encouraged to bring items to any Bullitt County school office. 

The Parent Teacher Organization at Shepherdsville Elementary is very involved with the drive. Email notifications as well as formal paper announcements have been distributed to students, staff, and other community members. 

“We need anything except clothing and bottled water,” Pate said. 

Some examples of items to bring are: cleaning supplies, non-perishable food items, feminine products, toiletries for men and women, and baby supplies (diapers, food, wipes, etc.). Checks are also accepted and can be made out to Shepherdsville Elementary School, with Alabama Disaster Relief written in the memo line. 

The drive will last until May 27, the last day of school. 

Pate and some members of his church will deliver the items to Alabama on the first weekend of June.