Community Love Shown This Valentine’s Day


Cadyn Qualls, Editor

Although Valentine’s Day has become highly stereotypical and tawdry, recent situations within the Buffalo Island community have proved that this controversial holiday can encourage a care shown beyond that of flowers and candy.


Senior, Austin Clayton, can vouch for that, as an overwhelming amount of support and love has been shown to him within the two weeks leading up to the holiday. On February the second, Clayton’s house caught fire and was burnt to ashes. Unfortunately, almost all possessions were lost, disheartening to both Clayton’s family and the community that cares about them.


Upon hearing the news, students, faculty, and parents were quick to take action, and were willing to help in whatever way possible. The following day, an online GoFundMe account was set up in hopes of raising money for the family, and multiple items were collected and distributed.


“With the events that have taken place recently with the fire, it shows that the community cares about the people within it, and you know they’re always there for you. If you have a problem, they will help you without hesitation,” said Clayton.


Although individual items collected may have seemed incapable of helping, every penny and article of clothing has contributed greatly to helping the family get back on their feet, and has helped restore a sense of hope.


The following week, fellow class members also hosted a bake sale, raising near five – hundred dollars during a thirty minute lunch period.


“With people donating to my family, it puts a lot of joy in my heart. I know that I have a community that loves me,” said Clayton.


Though he has always had fond memories of the holiday, such as the year his cat gave birth to kittens, this year has given him a new perspective of it.


“During this time, you mainly see the relationship between a girl and a boy represented. You don’t see much about the love between other people, like parents and friends. I think love between everyone should be celebrated,” said Clayton.


This is exactly what he plans on doing. To show family members such as his mom and sister his appreciation, he plans on purchasing them gifts. This is especially important to him this year as he is grateful that his family went unharmed during the fire.


Even amidst the discouraging events that have taken place, he has maintained a positive attitude and is hopeful for the future.


“It’s getting better. We have a new house in Leachville, and we have a lot of the things we need because of the generosity of the community. We’re going to be okay.


Though Clayton feels that he could never adequately show his full appreciation to those that have helped throughout the process of this tragic event, he plans to give back to the community every opportunity he can.
“I feel like smiling at people and showing them how valuable they are is a great way to respect your community and the people in it,” said Clayton.