To give their 9-year-old daughter, Cadence Adamson, some sense of the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, Bill and Kim Adamson showed the Durham Academy fourth-grader photos of streets that looked like rivers, vehicles submerged in the floodwater, and emergency workers rescuing residents caught off guard by rising rivers days after the storm hit.
Cadence had never seen images like that before, at least not of devastation so close to home.
So Cadence decided to do something — collect cleaning supplies to help flood victims get their lives back in order once they are able to return to their homes.
“It makes me feel really excited,” Cadence said of the steady stream of supplies dropped off in the Lower School hallway. “It makes me happy that I can help someone.”
Her mother said the idea to collect supplies was 100 percent Cadence’s.
After learning about the devastation spanning all the way from Haiti up to the Carolinas, the fourth-grader ran the idea by her parents, then set about putting her plan in action. She wrote a letter to Lower School Director Carolyn Ronco and Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner, asking if they would allow her to enlist fellow Lower School families’ help. The administrators quickly agreed, and Cadence was soon making her appeal to fellow Lower Schoolers at an assembly, showing them an iMovie she made of flooding in Eastern North Carolina. She explained to her classmates why the collection was so important and detailed what kind of supplies families should bring in.
“I had learned that a lot of people had already donated food and clothes,” she said, explaining why she chose to collect cleaning supplies. “I thought, what if a lot of water is in their house, and when they get the water out of their house, there’s a lot of mud and mold? I thought cleaning supplies would help with that.”
Cadence has researched where the items will be most helpful, and she will likely deliver them to Red Cross relief workers at the conclusion of the drive.