Floridians are no strangers to hurricanes. So when the news came in that the New York family of one of our students lost everything in this hurricane, a quick email was sent on a Friday to our TDS families asking for donations. The parent of the TDS student was planning to drive to New York on Tuesday to help these family members.

Monday morning came, and there were a few bags placed in the lobby. As the day went on, more and more donations were dropped off. By day’s end, the TDS lobby was overflowing with donations, and many families and staff also contributed cash donations, gas cards, etc. The original plan was to fit donations in the family van for the trip to New York, but there was way too much! A TDS family donated the cost of a rental van and gas so they could transport all the items.

The story continues when the truck arrived in New York. When the doors were opened, the New York TDS family began to cry. They couldn’t believe how much had arrived! Much-needed warm clothing, food, and supplies. They were overcome with thankfulness and so happy their prayers for help had been answered beyond belief. The family gratefully took what they needed and they then drove the truck to the local church where 30 families who had been displaced by the hurricane were living. These poor people had just the clothes on their backs and when they saw that help had arrived from Tampa Day School—from way down in Tampa, Florida—they were so excited. The pastor came running out to thank everyone and the children jumped on the truck to unload it. It was like the holidays had arrived early!

They couldn’t be more grateful and wanted TDS to know they made such a big difference in the lives of strangers. What a generous group of families we have at TDS and a living example of people caring for one another…an extremely important lesson for our children to learn in school, and life.