As they so often do, this particular 'good idea' wandered my way courtesy of Debbie Tenzer, webmistress of Do One Nice Thing and my personal nominee for Nicest Person in the World. The April newsletter from her website enlightened me about Henryville, Indiana.
Henryville suffered tremendously from tornadoes that recently blasted through the area. One of the biggest losses was Henryville High School, which took all of twenty seconds for the storm to completely demolish - while students and staff hid inside the building. Yeah. Let that run through your mind for a minute. The building in which you are hiding from a deadly storm crashes down around you.
Miraculously, everyone survived. That's the really good news. The bad news, of course, is that the school was destroyed. The students have resumed classes using temporary space in the nearby community of Sellersburg. Meanwhile, it's prom season here in the United States. It's hard to imagine how that would work for a community that needed to rebuild its entire high school, but as Debbie phrased it in the D1NT newsletter, the prom became kind of a symbol of normalcy and hope.
Here's where the story gets even more interesting.
You've probably heard of the band Lady Antebellum. They're on tour at present, promoting their new album Own the Night, and they set up a contest. The high school that submitted the best video in their contest would get to have Lady Antebellum provide the live music at their prom. How cool is that? I bet you think you know where this is going...you don't. Not quite.
The winning video was submitted by the students of Silver Creek High School, which is also in southern Indiana. Silver Creek is one of Henryville's athletic rivals. SCHS made a heartfelt and beautiful plea for Lady Antebellum to come and perform...
...at the Henryville prom.
Here's the video. I challenge you to watch it without getting a lump in your throat.
So the prom is going on, later this month, and Lady Antebellum will be performing. Not only that, but they have also pledged to perform a concert next month, with all of the proceeds going to Henryville.
Meanwhile, maybe you're feeling like you want to help. Thing is, there is no space to store all the things that you might normally think to donate, like blankets and socks and bottled water. They cannot accept physical donations. If you want to and are able to make a financial contribution, they can take that. But even if you can't send money, you can write a note of encouragement and support, and drop it in the mail. It would mean so much to the kids and their teachers and parents.
Send your well-wishes to:
West Clark Community Schools
601 Renz Avenue
Sellersburg, IN 47172
If enclosing a check, please write "For Henryville" on the memo line.
Also, going by the comments on the video, locals who would be willing to donate prom finery for the students of Henryville High are encouraged to contact Wick's Pizza in New Albany, Indiana. Judging by the photos on their Facebook page, I'm not sure they really need any more - it looks like they've been deluged by generosity! But you can still get their contact information from that link and find out if they're taking anything else for the community too.