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‘Decisions become actions’

When Raina Bratcher’s family lost their home in an April 12 fire, it didn’t take long for them to receive support from her extended family: Chipley High School JROTC.

Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Cole says when he brought up the idea of a benefit drive,  the cadets were on board to do the work. He says the action follows the mission of JROTC: “To be better citizens.” “When we make a decision, actions start to happen,” said Cole. “Our cadets chose to be better citizens by helping one of their own.”

Students have spent their own money to buy diapers, food, and other goods to donate to the Bratcher family. “Watching these kids bring in donations that they have used their own money to purchase has been such a beautiful sight to see,” said Cole. “We have also been able to turn donations we have received into valuable life lessons. There are limitless learning opportunities in situations such as this.”

As of Monday, the family had picked up two car loads of donations from the school with more trips expected in the future. Cole says a field trip is likely to take place as well. “Once we are done collecting, we will likely take a field trip to deliver all the donations to the family.”

While the Red Cross and extended family have been helping, there is still a need for items for the family of five, which includes parents Robbie and Ashley and children ranging in ages from three to 15. Items needed include non-perishable food, size 6 diapers, size 7 diapers, and linens for a full-sized bed, two queen-sized beds, and two crib-sized beds. Plywood is also needed for the floor of a camper, which is serving as a temporary home.

Donations can be brought to Chipley High School JROTC classroom. Cole asks that anyone stopping by with donations adhere to school visitation policy. “When bringing donations, please sign in at the office,”

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