Linden Schools partnering with Kansas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 7, 2005

LINDEN-Aiding evacuees from Hurricane Katrina has caused some very unlikely parties to form partnerships. For proof, look no further than the Linden City School system.

Linden schools will form an alliance with the Kansas city of the same name’s school system to help one family start all over.

Linden Elementary School Principal Wanda Fisher said Brian Spencer, Superintendent of Linden, Kan. schools, contacted them last week that asked if they knew of a way his schools could help hurricane victims.

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“The Superintendent up there just pulled out a map and saw Linden, Ala. there,” Fisher said. “They contacted us and asked how they could adopt a family.”

The Kansas school systems plan went far beyond sending relief or monetary donations. Spencer said they were willing to help a family relocate to their city and adopt them as their own.

Spencer said they were simply trying to find a way to make a difference in someone’s life.

“We are just trying to do our part to help someone out,” Spencer said. “The Red Cross and other organizations can do a lot for people, but it was hard to get through to some of those groups. That eventually led to us looking at a map and seeing Linden, Ala. so we contacted them and asked if they knew of any way we could help.”

Fisher said many of the specifics have already been put into place.

“Their plan is to bring them to Kansas,” Fisher said. “They already have a bank account set up for them.”

Spencer said they would like to host a family who had been hit especially hard for a few months until they could get back on their feet.

“Our plan is to set up a house and give a family a place to stay that may have no extended family or no place to go,” Spencer said. “We wanted to give them a place to stay for three or four months or until they could go home or find another place to go.”

The Linden, Kan. schools saw this as a chance to make a significant difference in someone’s life. Fisher said in their conversations, Spencer said they wanted to go the extra mile to help a family get a new start.

“They just wanted to do something to reach out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina,” Fisher said. “They wanted to connect with a family and help them through this difficult time.”

After searching with some difficulty, Spencer stumbled upon information for Linden, Ala. schools. Fisher said since they shared the same name, they decided to share the same goal. She said they told Spencer there were several in need and they would love to help them out.

“They wanted to work with someone and since we were Linden and they were Linden we decided to work together to locate a family,” Fisher said. “I told them we had 38 calls just this morning for people in Marengo who needed a place to go. They have no place to go and needed a little help.”

Spencer said there had been so many negatives associated with the hurricane and they wanted to do something positive.

“This is just our way of lending a helping hand,” Spencer said. “We know there are a lot of displaced families out there and we want to do our part to help.”