Close to three weeks after a tragedy, the community of Blue Hill is still supporting those affected. A recent fundraiser in Blue Hill has generated thousands of dollars for first responders. Superintendent Joe'l Ruybalid reported more than $5,000 dollars was raised for the first responders.
Ruybalid also reports that the school has been receiving an outpour of support: from phone calls, monetary donations, to cards in the mail, and even donations taken at the recent football games. Ruybalid says they have been coming in from everywhere…even outside of Nebraska.
"We've gotten a lot of support from other school districts whether they are school districts from our conference, neighboring school districts, or even districts from around the state; [some] as far east as Lincoln or Omaha, or as far west as Chadron. [We even get some] out of state...Wyoming, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri. [It's] just a lot of support from the education committee," said Ruybalid.
The community, school staff, and students are thankful for the gifts. Some have said that it helps them heal from the fatal crash. Ruybalid says that for a school with a population of 300, the effect of the tragedy continues to hit home.
"All of us have really felt the loss. Each student that we have is precious to us, and is very valuable to us and the community. To suffer any kind of loss is heartbreaking, and difficult to overcome and to move past," said Ruybalid.
The crash killed four people including the drivers of both vehicles and two local students. Ruybalid says he thinks the community will take away a lot from this tragedy; a tragedy that took away a lot from them.
"I really feel [like] the community has pulled together, and rallied around each other. We've really felt the support of our students, teachers, and staff…and the support of the school system. It really feels like we have some common bond," said Ruybalid.
Ruybalid has reported that the school is starting to re-build back into an atmosphere like they were, and he feels like students and staff are recovering from the tragedy well.