NYC kids raise money for Smithville

By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times

When a tornado devastated the town of Smithville in April, it seemed like all of Mississippi reached out to lend a hand.
Turns out that hand may have stretched even farther than initially suspected.
Hayden, 4, and Jonathan Waldorf, 5, a couple of New York City kids with Mississippi ties, recently helped raise more than $2,000 for the people of Smithville by simply asking fellow students for help.
On Friday, the children – along with mother and Fulton native Julie Grimes-Waldorf – presented the money to the CREATE Foundation, a nonprofit group that will distribute the funds to the people of Smithville where it is best needed.
Grimes-Waldorf said following the storm, her children were both curious and concerned about the small town of Smithville. A drive through the devastated community sparked their interest in helping the people there.
“When they saw the school and all of the houses, they began to ask what they could do to help,” Grimes-Waldorf said. “In particular, they wanted to help the kids rebuild their school.”
She said her sons raised money by asking the kids at their schools – The Barclay Street School and The Park Preschool in New York City – for help.
“The families were very supportive,” Grimes-Waldorf said, comparing the devastated landscape to that of NYC after the Sept. 11 attack.
United Way representative Patti H. Parker, whose Smithville home was destroyed during the storm, said the money will be a definite boon during the rebuilding process.
Contact Adam Armour at (662) 862-3141 or adam.armour@journalinc.com.