The Plymouth School District has received dozens of thank-you postcards from students in Louisiana.
Posted November 21, 2016
The Plymouth School District has received more than 75 postcards from grateful Louisiana students, and they keep coming.
On Sept. 30, the district sent two semi-loads of supplies to Livingston Parish School District in Louisiana, which was devastated by flooding in August. Johnsonville and Sargento each donated use of a truck and driver, who arrived three days later in Louisiana.
The effort was spearheaded by Plymouth High School drama teacher Janet DeJean Newton, who has lived in Wisconsin for nearly 30 years but was born in Louisiana and has family still there. Frustrated by a lack of national media coverage, Mrs. Newton secured permission from Plymouth School District administration to “adopt” the Livingston Parish School District.
In addition to collecting 28 pallets of school supplies, backpacks, educational materials and books, she also launched a “Shoebox Penpal” project in which Plymouth-area students (and adults) were invited to write letters to their Louisiana peers. The letters were placed in shoeboxes filled with items for individual Louisiana students. The 100 or so boxes included a postage-paid postcard so the recipients can write back.
And write back they have. “Thank you so much for everything,” Ethan wrote. “We all appreciate the overwhelming support. The flood has been hard for us all, but we’ll get through it together.”
“Thank you so much for the shoebox,” Lily wrote. “I really appreciated it and needed it. You are so gracious to be doing this. This is a really tough time for all of us and I am very thankful.”
“Thank you so much for the supplies,” another student wrote. “I lost my house and all my belongings in the flood and your box of supplies really cheered me up. After the flood I thought all was lost, but now I know someone cares.”
“Ever since the flood, everything has been crazy,” wrote another. “Having to go to a different school, working around a strange new schedule, seeing so many houses and buildings destroyed as just a part of everyday life now is something I never imagined could happen. Your support truly means a lot to all of us.”