At home, late in the evening of September 4th, Sondra Hearn, a well-loved Sumner County, Tennessee teacher, unexpectedly lost her husband and best friend, Rick Hearn, Jr. and her two precious, active, and fun-loving children, "Little" Rick (11), and Adeline (7), lost their daddy and hero.
Rick, a wrestling coach and avid Buffalo Bills fan, was first and foremost a family man who worked hard to provide for Sondra, Little Rick and Adeline, and all their beloved pets on their White House, Tennessee mini-farm. Now, after Rick's sudden passing, in addition to providing her own young children all the support they need during this extremely difficult time, Sondra is faced with closing down her husband's construction business while maintaining the farm and continuing to lovingly and attentively teach seventh graders.
Over the past few months, many of us have made donations to teachers for classroom supplies or purchased items from Amazon Wishlists. It's a great thing when communities rally to support their educators. My friend, Sondra, needs more than classroom help right now. She needs our help to keep her family afloat while unexpected bills pile up, farm animals need to be fed, and her children, as all children should be able to, continue their sports activities.
It took some convincing for Sondra to realize it was okay to ask for help. Just as Rick was, Sondra is independent and more accustomed to making sacrifices for others, not the other way around. We can never repay her for the time, energy, and heart she has put into the lives of Sumner County middle school students over the past nineteen years (and counting), but we can express our gratitude by helping to alleviate financial burdens.