COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Eric Crouch, a teacher at Double Churches Elementary School in Columbus, drove nearly 200 miles to learn a lesson outside the classroom.
This was after a teacher in the Panama City Beach area reached out to Crouch and his team to show him the devastation left behind from Hurricane Michael. He says he’ll never forget what he saw.
"She opens the door and there is nothing on the other side of the door. You're outside and you're just like what happened here and where do you start?" says Crouch.
“It looks like a regular hallway but when you get closer, the walls are gone and the ceiling is gone. The desk is still visible. To tell a teacher that your classroom is not there is the hardest thing that I’ve had to do,” says Illea Faircloth, the principal at Springfield Elementary in Panama City.
This gave Crouch and one of his students a new perspective to bring back home. Many of those teachers and students are left without resources to teach in Panama City. Some students still haven’t returned to school. Now, Crouch and his team wants to do something to help those affected by bringing awareness to something he says most people forget.
"You know those are books and memories that you can't replace, but you can do something about it," says Crouch.
Crouch says the team is hoping to raise $100,000 for those teachers in Panama City to get back the items they lost and to get back in the classroom.
“To lose your school and to lose your teacher and the people who were advocated and fighting for you every day, and to be thrown somewhere else; we want them to feel loved and cared about. Having an opportunity to collect funds and resources was of the utmost importance,” says Crouch.
They are still collecting donations. They say all the money will go to Donors Choose, where teachers that were hit the hardest will be able to use the funds for what they need.