LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jefferson County Teacher Association President Brent McKim knows what it feels like to hear the sirens that warn your whole life could be changing in seconds. He told WAVE 3, "I remember when the tornadoes came thru in 1974 and how our teachers took care of us and it was scary but they were great."
The memory of that storm is still with McKim and many others in Kentuckiana. The destruction, the fear and the road to recovery in 1974. As he looked up the road at our neighbors affected by this years devastating storms McKim and his team of teachers in Jefferson County know just how lucky they are today.
"When we see something like that we wanna make a difference," said McKim.
Every Jefferson County teacher has been asked to donate a gift card of any kind to help their fellow teachers rebuild their lives and their lively hood, that was swept away in a matter of minutes. They are hoping that students and parents will respond as well.
"We've organized a drive to collect gift cards from anywhere that you want like target, an office supply store," Mckim explained.
Dennis Watson's third grade class was destroyed. More than a third of that building was gone along with all the items he purchased for his room. He was able to find a few things from his Henryville classroom.
"I've kept pictures of all my kids ever since I've been teaching. I grabbed that," he explained to WAVE 3 reporters.
McKim stressed, "We spend a lot of money out of our own pockets and many of these teachers may have had damage at their own homes too. That makes it tough."
If there's a little team work involved maybe rebuilding won't be "so" tough, even when it's technically not your team.
"This is teachers reaching out to help other teachers help the kids that they serve," McKim expresses proudly.
A building you can knock down but we have seen it here before, you cannot kill the spirit of giving in this community.
McKim wants everyone to know, "The card that you buy and send up there is going to go right in the hand of a teacher and they'll get things for the kids."
If you'd like to help the Jefferson County Teachers Association help the teachers affected by the tornado simply buy a gift card of any kind and drop it off at the JCTA office at 1941 Bishop Lane Suite 300, Louisville, KY 40218. They would like to deliver the cards the first week of April. Please get your card as soon as you can. You can also deliver them to Dawne Gee at WAVE 3 , 725 South Floyd Street if it is more convenient.