CHARLESTON — A local attorney helped raise $2,000 on Facebook to help children at a Greenbrier County elementary school.
Harry Bell said every year he volunteers at the Greenbrier Classic PGA golf tournament and this year, while volunteering, he spoke with a teacher from Rainelle Elementary School whose class was at the tournament for a field trip who shared a touching story with him.
"She told me it wasn't unusual to have 13 to 15 out of her 18 students to come from homes with drug problems," Bell said in an interview with The West Virginia Record. "She told me at the school, many of the students came from homes with drug problems."
Bell said these were homes with parents hooked on drugs or older siblings, people coming in and out of their homes.
"She told me about a child who only wore costumes because she didn’t have enough clothes and of another child who only ate when he was at school and did not have any meals when he wasn't in school," Bell said.
Bell said after hearing the teacher's stories, he wanted to do something, so he went on Facebook and shared the story.
"It really touched my heart," Bell said. "I thought, I’d like to try and do something. I wanted to step up and help."
Bell said every person who responded that they wanted to help, he sent a message to and asked them to write a check so that he could gather them together and take the money to the school.
"I understand there is only so much one person can do," Bell said. "I thought, maybe I could get some clothes and money—maybe $500.
Bell said he was really pleased with the response.
"The checks started coming in and at the end of the day, I had around $1,600," Bell said. "I added in my own money to make it an even $2,000 and I reached out to the school to let them know I would be bringing them a check."
Bell said when he got to the school, the principal was surprised.
"She was just dumbfounded that we were giving them this money," Bell said. "It was one of those things that makes you feel good and proud you were able to do it. People really stepped up and made this happen."
Bell said he had plaintiffs' attorneys, defense attorneys, retailers and interior designers donating to the cause.
Bell said he still wanted to work on getting supplies to the school, such as clothes, to also help the students.