Hurricane Irma has come and gone, and she left a massive amount of destruction in her wake across the entire state of Florida. Here in Polk County, heavy rains and severe winds were felt, and resulted in downed trees, broken power poles (and loss of electricity for many of us) and, in some areas, flooding. The campus here at All Saints Academy did not escape these effects from the storm, and we have been working hard to clean up and rebuild so we can welcome our students back to class on Wednesday.

While working hard to clean up and restore our school, there are obviously a variety of hardships, from lack of air conditioning and drying out flood waters, to heavy lifting of tree branches and other debris left scattered around the grounds; however, something beautiful has come out among the hardships that is shining brighter than any of the negativity.

Through the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, we are seeing our community here in Polk County blossom. People are putting their differences aside, and neighbors are helping neighbors. Local businesses are opening their doors for those without AC to come in and enjoy some cool air and a hot meal. Churches are sending out volunteer teams to clean up properties of those who can’t clean up for themselves. People are opening their homes to those who need a place to shelter while houses are rebuilt and restored. Across the Central Florida area people are stepping up and reaching out to others, because we were all in this storm together. We encourage our ASA families to do the same as we all work hard to get back to normal life following Irma. Sharing our time, our energy, and our resources to be the good we want to see in the world is the very essence of what we try to teach our students at All Saints, and this is a wonderful time to turn that education into action. Even the youngest students can help hand out waters, help a neighbor rake leaves, or simply make cards for those who need a word of encouragement. No amount of help is too small as we pull together and show just how strong Florida can be.

We are so proud to be part of the Polk County community and look forward to seeing how we can help those around us rebuild, starting within our own campus gates. We can’t wait to see our students and teachers back on campus next week, and we are ready to make the 2017-2018 school year our best year yet. Thank you to all who have come out and helped in and around Polk County, from linemen who travelled across multiple states to help restore our power, to those volunteers who are working on our very own campus to make it ready for classes to begin again. We appreciate your hard work more than we can say.

Have a wonderful weekend, and remember to get out and look for ways to help as we prepare to return to classes next week.