Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

St. Paul's Students Write Letters to Firefighters for 9/11

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

St. Paul's Students Write Letters to Firefighters for 9/11

Article excerpt

Byline: Cindy Holifield & Sandy Strickland

Some of the younger kids drew red hearts. Older students used words such as "brave" and "courageous." In honor of 9/11, students at St. Paul's Catholic School on Park Street showed their empathy for Jacksonville firefighters.

They wrote letters - almost 180 of them - which recently were distributed by Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Chief Jack Griggs, who has two sons at the school. Griggs, in charge of the department's hazardous materials team, passed the letters out at stations near St. Paul's.

One little girl admittedly made up a word - "megatally" - to express her admiration.

"It meant we were super, and we got a kick out of it," Griggs said.

Griggs' son Devohn wrote to firefighter Scott Karpus telling him that if he was sad on 9/11 to feel proud because he was an American.

In return, firefighters wrote a letter to the school's 11 classes. St. Paul's has students in grades pre-K to 8.

Principal Kim Repper initiated the campaign to tie into St. Paul's virtues of the month, with empathy being the one for September.

De Lyons, who teaches 4-year-olds and is the school's guidance counselor, said she was very moved by the words used to describe the firefighters and the thanks students expressed for their going into burning buildings to save people's lives.

"The pictures they drew were just beautiful," she said.

Here's more good news:

- Liberty, a sweet lively male who loves to go for walks and carry toys and stuffed animals, is the 600th dog to be rescued and made available for adoption by the Golden Retriever Emergency Aid Team of Northeast Florida. Judi and Reed Brown started the nonprofit, which is part of a nationwide group, more than 10 years ago.

Working with a group of volunteers, they rescue golden retrievers, usually from shelters, and take them to a veterinarian for evaluation and treatment when needed, Judi Brown said. Then, they are placed in a foster home until they are healthy and a suitable family is found. For more information, go to

- For the comfort of wearing jeans to work on a Friday, employees at Winn-Dixie's corporate headquarters and regional distribution center raised more than $1,500 for Community Connections, which provides help for the homeless, children's services and literacy programs. …

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