Virginia Beach teacher an example of giving during hurricane relief efforts

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Many of us still have Hurricane Michael fresh on our minds.

However, closer to home in North Carolina, people are still dealing with the life-changing effects of Hurricane Florence.

"Their kids were out of school and they had communities living in tents. The students had lost everything at home and schools had lost everything," said Indian Lakes Elementary School gifted program teacher Kelly Hoggard.

And those folks are not forgotten - at least not by Kelly.

She organized a donation drive to get school supplies and other items down to New Bern, North Carolina.

"We took three complete -  I mean, stuffed - truckloads down there," she said.

“She did that selflessly and threw that together in just a matter of days," said fellow teacher Aaron Popp, who nominated Kelly.

So we decided to sneak up on her during a meeting at the school, where we presented her with a News 3 People Taking Action award and a $300 gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

Kelly held back tears talking about the hurricane victims.

“They’d heard from FEMA that it would be 3-6 months before they’d have a place to live, and that’s kind of scary when you’re going into winter and you're living in a tent in your front yard because your house is condemned," she said.

She says it was gratifying to know their efforts helped so many at a time when the need was so great.

“We thought we were taking stuff down to one elementary school, and we were actually supplying five different elementary schools," Kelly noted.

And while this endeavor was significant, her coworkers tell me this is just who Kelly is.

“She provides a heartbeat for this school and it touches everybody - not only the kids, but the staff.”

Do you know someone who's worthy of a People Taking Action award? Click here to nominate them!