Red Level, Brantley team up for Hackleburg

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Red Level has joined Brantley in an effort to help the small town of Hackleburg, which was hit by an EF-5 tornado last week. Shown are teenagers from Brantley collecting funds last Saturday. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

The local small towns of Brantley and Red Level have joined forces to bring the tornado ravaged Hackleburg out of the rubble by providing much needed supplies.

Last week’s tornado outbreak left the small town in shambles, and Red Level Elementary School students founded a relief effort that would allow them to give back at least a piece of what was lost, said RLES PTO president Stacey Joyner.

Joyner said she learned of the small town’s need from Brantley’s Carrie Mitchell, a former employee at RLES.

She said Mitchell and friend Lisa Hall, as well as Mitchell’s daughter Chandler Robertson, organized the Brantley effort after learning of the devastation caused by the EF-5 tornado.

Brantley and Hackleburg played against each other for the 2009 1A state football championship title. Mitchell’s husband Johnny is an assistant football coach at Brantley and coached during that game.

Last weekend, Brantley teens along with Mitchell, Hall and Robertson, stood downtown Brantley and collected $5,600 in cash, along with an oversized load of supplies.

On Sunday the group delivered the items to Hackeburg, and on Monday, a very touched Robertson created a Facebook page titled “Hope for Hackleburg.”

Joyner said, “It’s a common mindset that something like this could easily happen to a small town like Red Level,” and Red Level teachers want to teach their students how to give back.

“It was a perfect opportunity for us to join in,” Joyner said. “We got together at the school and decided it was the best thing for us since we have a direct connection our supplies will go straight to the need. We don’t have to worry about them sitting in a warehouse.”

Joyner said they are accepting items such as school supplies, baby products and toiletries, and there is a large need for jugs of water for bathing.

“We had originally wanted to go up there with Brantley on their first trip,” she said. “But we had already scheduled a fundraiser that day. So, we are going to take the supplies to Brantley Friday afternoon. A group from there is going to leave and spend the night and help on Saturday. We’ll miss our initial trip, but they’ll deliver the supplies.

“We take so much for granted,” she said. “If we need a cup of sugar, we can go to our neighbor next doors, but these people they don’t have a neighbor to go to. They’ve all lost everything.”

Those interested in donating items can drop them off at RLES.