Young Students Rally For Tornado-Affected Teacher

By Nesita Kwan
|  Monday, Nov 18, 2013  |  Updated 11:46 PM CDT
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Third grade teacher grew up in tornado-ravished area, kids, parents collect donations. Nesita Kwan reports.

Third grade teacher grew up in tornado-ravished area, kids, parents collect donations. Nesita Kwan reports.

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Chicago's South Loop Elementary School wasted no time helping a teacher who's hometown was affected by Sunday's tornadoes.

Julianne Knox, who teaches third grade at the school, watched in disbelief as the the damage reports came in from Washington, the tiny town she grew up in .

"Looking at the pictures you can't even tell where the streets are anymore, or where the homes are, because it's just broken wood," Knox said.

Knox sent an email to her students' parents, and to the school, asking for help, and by Monday monring, the collection had already started in the back of the classroom.

"I saw a lot of pictures of what had actually happened and I started thinking of how it helped to be in that situation," third-grader Miles Reeves said.

The kids say they're learning there's always a way to help when bad things happen.

"I was thinking there was a way for me to help by donating clothes, like my teacher wants us to do," third-grader Grace Bauer said.

At the Salvation Army, most of the disaster canteens have already been dispatched to Central Illinois, and officials say cash donations are best.

"We're making sure that our resources are able to target the need precisely," Lt. Col. Ralph Buckowitz said.

The help may be less experienced and tangible at South Loop Elementary, but it's just as appreciated.

"It is really comforting and making me feel better," Knox said. "I wanted to be here with them today."

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