Friday, August 26, 2011

Dunwoody Teacher, Ms. Jan Jordan's drive to help those affected by summer tornados.

Did you know that Chesnut Charter Elementary School has it's very own SuperStar?! That's right -- Ms. Jan Jordan, first grade teacher, is a true hero. Over the summer, Ms. Jordan made a one-woman trek to help families in Alabama recover from the tornadoes that destroyed their homes. Originally, Ms. Jordan was moved by the news reports of the tornados in Joplin, MO. She sprang into action, collecting water, diapers, clothing and other items from all over Dunwoody, Tucker, and Decatur. She organized this drive in just a few days' time... and filled an ENTIRE Penske truck. By the time she was ready to drive out to Missouri, Joplin was overwhelmed with donations and didn't have room to accept new ones -- but that didn't dissuade Ms. Jordan at all. She redirected her trip to Alabama, where she found many deserving families and organizations that were still taking donations after the tornadoes that blew through Birmingham.

It's a rare event when ONE person is so moved by a tragedy but then actually steps forward to make a difference by helping others.

When she got back, Ms. Jordan was full of thanks to all the people who helped make her journey possible – untold numbers of families who contributed items to donate to the families who’d lost their possessions, the Dunwoody Police Department, Georgia Perimeter College, and Dunwoody City Councilman John Heneghan, who all allowed people to drop items off at their locations (in Mr. Heneghan’s case – his driveway!), and to all who made phone calls to help spread the word about what Ms. Jordan was doing.

She had special words for everyone who might have an idea like this in the future: “Go for it! I never thought in the beginning that I would get as much help as I did, but each time I needed something, someone always stepped forward to help.” She continued, “There were times when I thought I would have to call the whole thing off, but I got support that I never looked for from places I never would have thought of… people really came together, and in the end, I really felt that it was a team effort much larger than myself.”

Ms. Jordan is a perfect example of the Chesnut spirit – she is generous, and she stuck to it until she got it done! We should all feel so lucky to have such a special person teaching our children in Dunwoody.   For those connected to Chesnut Elementary please give Ms. Jordan a warm smile and maybe a hug or two the next time you see her!

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