Alabama teachers get Suffolk help

Published 8:56 pm Monday, October 17, 2011

Members of the Suffolk Rotary Club show off baskets they sent to teachers in the town of Hackleberg, Ala., which was affected by a devastating tornado in April. Partnering with Peanut Proud, the club included items such as paper, pencils, calendars, paper towels and markers.

The Suffolk Rotary Club and Peanut Proud partnered recently to lend a hand by donating funds and collecting and assembling goods to create 48 baskets for teachers left with nothing following the devastating spring tornados in Hackleburg, Ala.

On April 27, a tornado hit the town of 1,430 people and did catastrophic damage. Eighteen people were killed, and three-quarters of the town was destroyed.

The Suffolk Rotary Club learned of the teachers’ needs at a school in the town from Rotarians representing Birdsong Peanuts who were familiar with Peanut Proud’s efforts. Some groups have helped students in Alabama, but Rotarians in Suffolk wanted to help the teachers get the basic supplies they need to operate their classrooms, according to Suffolk Rotary Club President Kenda Council.

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The baskets were filled with products such as pads of paper, pencils, calendars, paper towels and markers. While Peanut Proud donated the majority of the items in the baskets, several Suffolk companies, including TowneBank, Planters, Suffolk Insurance, Lipton Tea, Birdsong Peanuts and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, contributed items.

Led by Suffolk Rotary Club service project Co-Chairman Betsy Totten, eight club members assembled baskets in the offices of Birdsong Peanuts. The baskets will be transported to Hackleburg this month.

As signified by the motto “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

“The Suffolk Rotary Club was proud to partner with Peanut Proud to help lend a hand to the teachers in Hackleburg — and we were drawn to them, as they are a peanut community, as well,” Council said.

“Both the Suffolk Rotary Club and Peanut Proud believe in assisting with humanitarian efforts in our local community and around the world. This partnership is an example of the wonderful humanitarian work the Suffolk Rotary Club does for the greater community.”