Through the eyes of a child

Published 8:54 pm Friday, April 22, 2011

This group of Northeast Academy students conducted a clothing and toy drive for the young victims of the Bertie County tornados. Staff Photo by Amanda VanDerBroek

LASKER — After sheer devastation often comes kindness…even from the littlest of hearts.

Such is the case with Trey Bowen, 9, and Kadin White, 5, of Buena Vista along with their fellow classmates at Northeast Academy.

On Thursday, students from the Lasker-based private school filled boxes with donated items for the youngest tornado victims of Bertie County.  Toys, books, stuffed animals and clothes were given by students from the NEA’s kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth and sixth grade classes.

Last Saturday, two tornadoes decimated the Colerain and Askewville areas, leaving 12 dead and multiple homes damaged or destroyed.

Living in the small community of Buena Vista on the outskirts of Askewville, the two brothers along with their mother, Kelley White, and grandmother, Denise Farmer, saw the storm’s damage first hand as they traveled through the nearby areas.

It was there, in their grandmother’s vehicle as debris riddled scenes passed by their windows, that the two boys’ thoughts turned to how children their own age may not have anything left, not even a toy to play with or find comfort in.

“When I first saw the tornado (damage) all I could think is I wanted to help them because all of their toys got blown away,” recalled Trey.

Farmer recalled Kadin suggesting to give his own belongings to the children in need.

“He said, ‘Well, I’ve got some toys they can have’,” she said.

The utter devastation was not lost on Farmer of Kelford as she had her own brush with a tornado that destroyed a barn on her property 10-15 years ago.

“It was just so pitiful and so sad,” she said about the Bertie County tornadoes. “You just feel like you need to do something.”

And so Farmer, at the request of her grandsons, did. She contacted Northeast Headmaster Russell Leake and organized a toy and clothing drive through the school. A memo was sent out to parents and soon enough donated items came flooding in.

Trey and Kadin said they were proud of their school for helping out and hope the donated toys help children impacted by the storm find comfort.