Quapaw Tornado Recovery-Class of 2014

On Sunday, April 27, 2014, without warning, a tornado dropped from the sky and ravaged much of my hometown, Quapaw, Oklahoma. It killed one man, injured several, destroyed most of the buildings on Main Street, and nearly 60 other structures throughout the rural town located in far Northeastern Oklahoma.

Friday, May 2, is a date the 35 seniors at Quapaw High School have anticipated for months. As goes the decades-old tradition, QHS students begin raising money our freshman year. Some is used for the Jr/Sr prom we host junior year and the rest is used for our Senior Trip, a rite of passage at Quapaw High. The Class of 2014 had saved $2000 for their trip. Five days after this deadly tornado, they were scheduled to make their one-day trip to Dallas. 

So, when classes resumed at Quapaw High School on Tuesday morning, something pretty extraordinary happened. The thirty-five members of the senior class voted to cancel their Senior Trip and donate their $2000 back to the community. One student said they believed since they raised the money from the community over the years, they should return it to the community.

This Friday morning, instead of boarding a fancy chartered bus for their big trip to Dallas, these 17 and 18 year-olds "” already excused from school! "” will spend their day volunteering wherever needed in thier community. Giving up a day trip to Dallas may not seem like a big deal, but most of these students likely have not traveled as far as Oklahoma City. Trust me, I once was a senior at Quapaw High School. A trip to Dallas is a big deal! 

Unfortunately, we Oklahomans are much too familiar with the trauma wielded by a 10-15 second encounter with a deadly tornado. These students' Senior Prom was a few weeks ago. High school graduation is a few weeks from now. This should be the happiest, most carefree time of their young lives. Instead of using the trip as an opportunity for some much-deserved down time, they made the selfless decision to stay and help friends and family. Please take a moment to read their story reported by KOTV (linked below).

We know what goes around comes around. I hope you will help show these generous students that it really does pay to give. Thank you so much for your support.

KOTV News: Quapaw Seniors donate class money


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Emilee Truelove 
Quapaw, OK
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