Spartanburg school districts help families affected by tornado


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – School districts in Spartanburg are working to help families who are still feeling the effects of last week’s tornado.

“This is the only home my son has ever known. He keeps saying he wants to go home and that’s really hard,” Katherine Clayton said. “He hasn’t seen it. My daughter hasn’t seen it. I don’t want them to see it.”

Five days after a tornado ripped through Spartanburg, some families are still feeling the impact at Crown Pointe Apartments on Powell Mill Road.

“When I saw the damage, I was just in shock. I was so thankful that we weren’t here because we could’ve been really hurt,” Clayton said. “Two of the back bedrooms, the master and another bedroom, were hit. A tree hit it and the ceiling caved in.”

For the past few days, Katherine Clayton has been working to gather her family’s belongings from the place they’ve called home for close to seven years.

“We’re just trying to get what we can out and save what we can,” she said.

But with all of the damage, Clayton hasn’t been able to save a lot. And she’s not the only one. Several families have been left without a home and without a car.

“Many of our students have been displaced,” Jesse S Bobo Elementary School Principal Catherine Pogue said. “I’m working with approximately 15 families and that can include one student or it can include multiple students, and we’re getting more and more families in every day.”

Jesse Bobo Elementary is right down the road from where the tornado left its biggest mark, and the school has decided to help out their neighbors by starting a gift card donation drive.

“We are a family and when a family is in need, what we do is we help out,” Pogue said. “We’re looking at grocery store gift cards. Potentially Walmart and Target, because that’s a one-stop shop. You can get furniture, you can get groceries, you can get clothing items.”

Clayton told 7 News the donation drive is an answered prayer.

“It means so much, you have no idea. I’ve broken down in tears so many times,” she said. “Gas, clothes for the kids because a lot of the clothes have been ruined, and finding a new home. You really don’t know what you have until something like this happens and then you realize how many people really care.”

If you’d like to donate a gift card, the drive will last until Friday. You can drop those gift cards off at Jesse S Bobo Elementary on Powell Mill Road, or the District 6 Central Office.

Also, if you’ve been impacted by the tornado and need help getting your child to school, you’re asked to contact the district office.

District 7 was hit by the storm as well and they want parents to know that they can reach out to their schools for help.

Some buses in District 7 have added new pick-up locations to help those families who have been displaced.

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