By Michaela Gibson Morris
TUPELO – A 7-year-old Oxford girl found birthday joy in giving rather than receiving.
Instead of birthday gifts, Evie Henderson of Oxford asked her friends to bring school supplies for students at Joyner Elementary, which was damaged in the April 28 tornado.
“It wrecked a whole school, and kids need school supplies to get smarter,” said Evie, the daughter of Tripp and Carrie Henderson, who will be a second-grader at Oxford Elementary this fall. “I have too many toys, anyway.”
Evie turned 7 in January, but her family had postponed her birthday bash until June to grant her wish for a pool party, said Carrie Henderson. When the tornado ripped apart Tupelo, Evie, who has cousins who live in town, was deeply affected by the damage and wanted to do something to help instead of getting presents at her party.
After considering different ways they might help, the Hendersons landed on school supplies for Joyner.
“We thought the kids would be able to relate to it,” Henderson said.
On Wednesday, the Hendersons dropped off bags of paper, markers, pencils and other supplies.
“This is awesome,” Joyner Principal Kim Foster told Evie. “Our kids are going to love it.”
Wednesday’s donation was a sweet addition to the steady stream of assistance the school has received since the tornado, Foster said.
“We already have people asking how they can help in August,” Foster said. “We couldn’t do it without the ‘Tupelo Strong’ mentality.”