For the young ladies of the P.D. Jackson Olin High School in Pratt City, Alabama, the school year has not ended as they planned. It has been more than a week since twisters ripped through their town, tearing their lives and their school building apart.

Close to half of the Jackson Olin’s student body was affected by the storms as last week’s twisters devastated their town of historic Victorian cottages. In the midst of the destruction and the rubble, the last thing on Tytiana Robinson’s mind was prom. But thanks to the kindness of others, she and her classmates will be dancing the night away in beautiful dresses donated by a nearby community.

The donations started pouring in last Thursday after the mother of a school staffer asked guests at her wedding shower if they could donate dresses for the girls in the county next door. From one e-mail, messages on Facebook and Twitter were posted and over 1,000 dresses were collected. Fellow teens, shops and donors from other states all contributed dresses to girls that they didn’t know. All so they could have one night of normalcy and fun in the midst of the storm.

One dress, in particular, stood out- it was donated by a girl who had survived Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On the strapless cocktail dress she sent in was a note that read:

“I hope you will have a few hours of happiness at your prom. I assure you, you will make it through this difficult time.”

While we are all searching for ways to feel happy, the best way to achieve that is to focus on giving that feeling to someone else. Everyone knows what it’s like to have your life torn apart, to face a dark time that feels impossible to make it through.  Remembering your storm can show you the way to help and give to someone still going through.

Today, be someone’s light at the end of the tunnel. Give a gift, no matter how small, and give someone a reason to dance.

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  • My daughter passed this article along to me as I am a 1976 graduate of Jackson-Olin High. I am over the moon about how the communities have come together to create a pleasant memory in the midst of a catastrophe. God bless everyone who reached out and donated…they will receive it back ten-fold.

  • Unique_one

    Great article, very inspirational!