Credit union, church help Northridge teachers recover from tornado

A Year of Recovery

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- School starts on Monday for students at Northridge Local Schools. Months after the Memorial Day tornado, a fence is still wrapped all the way around Grafton Kennedy Elementary School.

Northridge Local Schools teachers had their back-to-school luncheon on Friday. Those would usually head back to Grafton Kennedy Elementary School are now teaching elsewhere. 

“They lost everything in the school, they have nothing,” said Zach Clark, Senior Vice President of Operations at DayMet Credit Union.

The school was in the path of the Memorial Day tornadoes. The extent of damage forced the district to fence off the campus. Teachers were not able to go in and recover much of their classroom supplies meaning many of them are starting from scratch this school year.

“It’s very difficult to drive down Grafton. I drive down Wagner Ford Road everyday and see the hotel that was there,” Clark said.

The personal connection to the area is why DayMet Credit Union chose to raise thousands of dollars to aid in relief efforts. Clark took their foods and delivered $100 to each of the 33 Grafton Kennedy teachers. 

 “Its our way of saying we appreciate you, we value you. We know resources sometimes are limited. We know often times what they have, it’s all they have to work with,” Clark said.  

Engage City Church is asking the rest of the district staff for classroom wish lists. Doug Wampler, pastor at Engage City Church said Clark approached their church because of their past work in tornado recovery.

“We’ll put out the list of needs and specific drop spot locations so then people can see what’s on the list. It may be as simple as hand sanitizer but we know its the small things done consistently that produce the results,” said Wampler.

The church has stayed true to it’s name all summer engaging in a number of tornado recovery efforts.

“Whenever there’s a disaster that happens, it’s an opportunity to step up and serve,” Wampler said.

They hope the community will step up again to help. 

“We can’t heal but we can help and everybody can do something.” Wampler said.

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