Keenburg elementary gathers donations for hurricane victims

By Lesley Hughes
star staff

  A Carter County elementary school and the community are reaching out to help victims of Hurricane Jeanne in Florida. Students, teachers, and citizens in the Keenburg community organized a donation drive to help the neighborhood and family members of Keenburg Elementary School third grade teacher Lori Langlios.
  Langlios' parents, Joan and Clifford Hoose, live in the Orange Heights community of Indian River County, Fla. where Langlios plans to surprise her parents and the community with the donations over the weekend.
  "That is right between Melbourne and Vero Beach which got hit the hardest. They were hit by the other one (Frances) quite severely also. They had extensive damage with Frances, but this one (Jeanne) just did them in. It hurt every trailer in there," Langlios said.
  With only two days notice, children and adults pulled in bag after bag of canned food, cleaning supplies, pet food, water, toiletries, and more. Langlios' van was filled to the brim with bags on Thursday afternoon, and she had already taken a load of donations to her house on Wednesday.
  Monetary donations totaled $351. As the interview progressed, more people arrived with more bags.
  The Orange Heights community consists of many elderly people who are unable to work on restoring their homes. "I was loaned a generator by Renee McNeil from our school so that I can help with tools and we can help cover roofs. We are going to buy tarps with the money and more water, bags, candles, matches."
  "They have told me that they don't think they will have power until the end of October, at the earliest. So this is really going to help."
  Langlios' parents suffered some damage to their double-wide trailer, which split down the middle, causing water to leak into the separation. "They lost their screen room, carport, and their car got damaged as well," she added.
  Langlios said she got the idea for the donations when, "I guess my mom crying, 'I need you.' I haven't even told her. She has no idea we're even doing this. She knows I am coming to help her and daddy get the roof covered but she doesn't know that we're doing anything for the community. I would just love to thank everyone in the community that helped, everybody in the Keenburg community that sent something in."