As Hurricane Florence bore down on the Carolinas last week, our students sprang into action to help their community, both here at Cary Academy and beyond.
As news of the storm overtook media on Wednesday of last week, our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) students—led by our Director of Safety and Security Jeff Wacenske—put their training to work, helping to ready the campus for the predicted high winds and torrential rain. Typical of our students, others quickly jumped in with helping hands to move all outdoor furniture safely inside.
Offering a fantastic example of community spirit and teamwork, the varsity baseball and tennis teams used their practice times to survey all of CA's athletic facilities, securing equipment and installing protective wind guards.
And while our local community collectively breathed a sigh of relief when the storm turned, leaving CA with minimal damage, focus quickly shifted to how we could help those to the east who were left in Florence's debilitating wake.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Junior Parker Perkins, a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol—an auxiliary of the United States Air Force that carries out emergency service missions—deployed to Deep Run, NC to distribute supplies to affected areas.
Closer to home, there have been numerous conversations amongst students, faculty, and staff in how to best serve those impacted. In the Upper School, Seniors Lyndon Wood and Milen Patel are spearheading a supply drive to collect pop-top canned meals, hygiene products, and cleaning supplies. The drive will run Thursday, September 20 to Wednesday, October 3, with collection bins in the Upper School lobby.
In addition, an Upper School bake sale featuring baked goods from Key and Beta Clubs is scheduled for US morning break and community time on Thursday, September 20 and Friday, September 21. Proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
In the Middle School, the Middle School Student Leadership Club is planning a supply drive to run Monday, October 1 through Friday, October 5. In addition, Leadership Club students are working with their faculty advisors to grapple with some of the long-term effects of Hurricane Florence and ways that they can sustain relief efforts over what will be a prolonged rebuilding process. Stay tuned for details.
We thank all those that have stepped forward to provide help, both here on campus and in the wider community. And while we're proud of the selfless outpouring of assistance from our community, we're also happy to note that it isn't altogether surprising. For a community that encourages students to make a positive impact on the world—both during their time here at Cary Academy and when they venture out into the wider world—meaningful community service and helping others is the norm. Hurricane Florence was no exception.