Students assume leadership roles

Two years ago, Thompson High School students decided to help out a fellow student, Josh Carden, who has cerebral palsy and whose grandfather had recently died after being accidentally struck and killed by a car.

They hoped to raise $1,000. Instead, they raised approximately $13,000. But they didn’t stop there — their incredible generosity inspired a community-wide effort to build Carden and his grandmother a new house.

Recently, Alabaster residents celebrated the completion of the home and honored students’ efforts during a presentation at Thompson.

THS Principal Dr. Danny Steele said, “Something took off that was known as the Josh Carden Project, that not just brought our entire student body together but the entire community of Alabaster. It is a testament of what we can do to make a difference, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Josh’s new home is better suited for his needs, as he uses a motorized wheelchair, and is a wonderful place for him and his grandmother. It’s a testament to the strength of the Thompson High School community — and the overall Alabaster community — that no one stopped to pat himself or herself on the back after raising 13 times the original goal of $1,000. Rather, they wondered how they could do more to help a family that was blindsided by an unexpected tragedy.

Because of their kindness, an Alabaster family finds their lives unbelievably enriched today. In a world where sad headlines and horrifying pictures sometimes dominate the news, it’s nice to read a story about people helping other people, just because it’s the right thing to do.

A statue, commemorating the Thompson students’ efforts, will be placed on school grounds. According to the sculptor, the statue’s metal rings represent a ripple effect — “one individual caring enough to take action, then to engage others in that action and continuing on and rippling out. The rings also are interconnected and that symbolizes unity.”

Alabaster came together to give this family a gift, and we applaud the city for it. Thank you.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.