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Lansing students, residents get involved in hurricane relief

by Carrie Steinweg with Candace Barclay, TF South Journalism student

Lansing, Ill. (September 2017) – Individuals across the country—including many in our own community—have joined to help those affected by areas devastated by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. The Lansing Municipal Center became a drop-off point for donations of water, baby formula, diapers, air mattresses, and blankets. Those donations have been transported to affected areas by Thornton Township.

Students and staff at Lansing’s two high schools have also been involved in raising funds to provide support for hurricane relief.

At Illiana

A movie night was coordinated by Iliana Christian High School’s GO Club. The Christian Service Club held an outdoor viewing of the movie “Shrek” with close to 150 attending.

Faculty sponsor Sarah Johnson said that the school’s administrative assistant did some research to find an Iliana graduate in Texas following Hurricane Harvey to help add a personal connection to their efforts. She located Roger DeYoung from the class of 1966 who is now a pastor at Hope Church in Houston. “The actual church was not damaged, but a lot of church members had homes that sustained damage,” she said. They decided the funds raised at movie night would go to help members of Hope Church who were in need of aid.

Johnson said she set a fundraising goal of $500 and as of mid-September the total was $1,741 with more money still being contributed from the student council’s weekly doughnut sales. “The whole thing was put together in about two weeks, but that’s when you know it’s the right thing to do—when it’s easy to do,” said Johnson.

“We want to really say thank you to the community,” said Johnson. “We are humbled by the amount that we’ve raised to help this church in an area that really needs help. We want to tell the rest of the Lansing community to keep their eyes open because we’d like to do a movie night again because it was such a fun event.”

At TF South

At Thornton Fractional South High School, guidance counselor Jennifer Anderson-Murray and club sponsors coordinated an effort to raise funds for hurricane relief. One-gallon jugs were placed in the cafeteria and at the front desk where students scan in. Four containers are being filled with donations in a friendly competition among grade levels to see which class (freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior) collects the most money. The grade with the highest donation amount will be rewarded with free admission to a sporting event. Coach Bob Padjen and the football team also donated cases of water for the cause.

“I am extremely proud of the students for their willingness to help and with how much ownership they’ve taken with this fundraising effort,” said Anderson-Murray. The collection continued through the end of September.

“When our nation is faced with crisis, it is always reassuring to know how quickly our instinctual response is to aid those in need,” said Principal Jake Gourley. “I’m very proud of the students at TF South for reaching out to help those who they may not know personally, but who they care about as fellow human beings.”

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Congratulations on a great article to Candace Barclay, my former first grade student and frequent winner of the PTA Reflections writing contest. I am so glad to see Candace using her talents for writing which were obvious even in first grade!

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