Honoring Henry & Instilling Stones of Remembrance
Students at Hope Ranch Learning Academy Help Henry McCue, WWII Veteran, to Recover After His Home is Destroyed by Fire
When the students and faculty at Hope Learning Academy heard 90-year old WWII veteran Henry McCue lost everything in a fire at his New Port Richey trailer home, they decided to help.
Henry’s clothes, medications, mementos of his late wife, and a valuable baseball card collection were all burned up before his eyes. His home of 23 years was gone. He didn’t even have a pair of shoes.
He could only ask, “Why?”
Ampy Suarez, Director of Educational Services at Hope Learning Academy, heard of Henry’s plight on local television news, and she made students aware of the situation.
The students went into action
And raised $2,100 for Mr. McCue, including a pair of $700 matching donations from a student's grandparent and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.
At a special service held at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in New Port Richey, Florida, the students and the community surprised him with gifts and kind words.
One of the students, Tanner Smith, gave Henry 1,500 of his own baseball cards. Other students gave him a supply of candy for his sweet tooth and an American flag. They wrote messages to him on heart-shaped pieces of paper.
And Pasco County Commissioner Mike Wells, who attended the surprise service for McCue, announced that several individuals in the community had paid to buy McCue a new trailer home.
Henry responded emotionally.
“I just figured I’d come over here and shake some hands or something and that’d be it. It’s unbelievable, that’s it, that’s all I can say.”