Teens’ generosity reaches across state lines

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bobby pins and bows may seem like small comforts in the midst of devastation, but for some Louisiana girls last week, they were signs that life after the deluge can be “normal.”

That’s the take from the adults who helped bring together a group of Mississippi cheerleaders and dancers from Pearl River Central High School and their counterparts from Denham Springs, one of dozens of Louisiana communities inundated by historic rainfall followed by a record-breaking flood.

The girls of PRC’s spirit teams set up a community drive at a home game to gather toiletries, personal-care items like soap and shampoo, and little treats like cookies and candy.

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The recipients in Denham Springs had lost everything, the big things like homes and cars, and the little things like bobby pins and bows in their school colors of purple, gold and white.

The Blue Devil community responded to the call at the game, filling 49 baskets with signs of “normal” teen life to remind the Louisiana girls that this, too, will pass. Even the visiting Poplarville Hornets put aside the game day rivalry and pitched in with contributions.

These young people reached out to those who lost it all. Pearl River County has known disaster and devastation, and even its children know what it means to be a good neighbor.

For generations, each generation of teenagers finds itself facing a public relations problem: Teens are self-centered, say their elders. They’re hormonal. They’re emotional. They’re loud. Their fashions are atrocious, and their music is annoying.  The old folks said it in the 1950s, in the ‘60s, and every decade since.

But look beyond the hairstyles and hem lengths and what band’s on the T-shirt, and we’ll see the person inside often is generous of spirit and concerned about others. And that’s something to cheer for.