KAHOKstrong, an organization whose primary goal is caring for families in their times of need, is coordinating an effort to show support for the family of the student injured at Collinsville High School this week.
Toni Geisen, CHS teacher and co-sponsor of KAHOKstrong, has been in conversation with the student’s family and has offered to spearhead an effort to collect cards, notes of support and donations.
“KAHOKstrong gives people a group to turn to to handle these situations,” Geisen said.
Volunteers and community members wishing to help have been a key role in KAHOKstrong.
“We’re always at the ready with student volunteers and with people who are there when KAHOKstrong makes a request. It helps filter out everyone trying to do something different; people have been receptive in sorting everything through one group,” she said.
Geisen said the organization is collecting donations of gas cards, Visa gift cards, food gift cards and grocery/drug store gift cards to help support the family while they are spending countless hours at the hospital.
“Some people have recommended BP gas cards for the family because there is a BP near Cardinal Glennon–any gift card that you want to give to the family. Grocery store gift cards, any gas gift cards — basically anything that would make living out of a hospital a little less stressful,” Geisen said.
The community outreach for the student has been ‘amazing’ according to Geisen.
“Just from sharing the post on Facebook or getting the information out there, it’s amazing on how quickly things snowball,” Geisen said.
People as far out as the east coast have contributed to the support efforts.
“Just today I had someone from the east coast contact me asking, ‘How do I get money to you for this family?’ They don’t know the student or the family, but the community just wants to help any way that they can,” she said.
Local businesses have taken action to support the Collinsville student as well.
Collinsville donut shop, Glazy Squares, will be opening their doors 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. next week, Monday through Friday and donate 100% of the proceeds from donuts, ice cream, and coffee to the student’s family.
Several businesses have stepped up to match proceeds made at the shop next week, to directly go to the family.
“First Collinsville Bank will be matching donations on Monday,” Geisen added.
In addition, KAHOKstrong will collect money at Kahok Stadium on Friday night during the varsity homecoming football game.
One hundred percent of donations to KAHOKstrong help Unit 10 families in need. KAHOKstrong began several years ago to assist a teacher’s family that was coping with cancer.
The outpouring of support from the community was so great that it became a permanent
outreach program. The group has provided help for Unit 10 families who are dealing with illnesses and personal tragedies, as well as gifts for needy children during the holidays.
Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 is comprised of 13 schools, serving 6,500+ students Pre K-12 in Madison and St. Clair Counties in southwestern Illinois.
Donations, get-well cards and notes for the family can be sent to:
c/o Toni Geisen
Collinsville High School
2201 S. Morrison
Collinsville, IL 62234
For more information on making donations, contact Toni Geisen at firstname.lastname@example.org.