Community continues to show support one week after Fox Elementary fire

Published: Feb. 19, 2022 at 7:02 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - One week since the three-alarm fire that destroyed William Fox Elementary School drivers on Hanover Avenue. continue to slow down as they pass by to see what’s left of the more than 110-year-old school.

The chalk drawings have made their way across the street in front of the fencing that now surrounds the school as many people are still checking out the damage for the first time.

”I see the building itself, how it is now, and then in my memory overlays how it was before with all the memories that we have as a family,” Kathleen Moore said.

Moore grew up going to Fox Elementary, so did her kids, and she was hoping one day her grandkids would go too.

She says looking at the aftermath of last Friday’s fire she can’t help but feel some of those cherished memories were lost in the flames too.

”They [the memories] went out the roof with the fire and they went up in smoke,” Moore said.

For the city of Richmond, this past week has created a new memory of healing after the community did not stop showing its support for the school off of Strawberry Street.

Businesses, volunteers and even sports fans stepped up to help those impacted by the fire.

Moore runs a book charity called the Book Festival in Memory of Greg Neylan, founded in memory of her father who worked for Richmond Public Schools his entire life.

She says what they’re planning to do is help rebuild Fox’s library along with other organizations.

“What we’re doing right now is we’re sorting through the books that we have and we’re taking the more gently used books and we’re hoping to give them to William Fox to help them build back their library,” Moore said.

Across town on North 1st St. on Saturday, a school supply drive that had been planned for months had a larger reach after offering supplies to Fox teachers and families.

“I knew it was hurtful for the students,” Gina Whitaker Cannon, of GWC Ministries, said. “I know students who were personally affected and the students who had just gotten back in school and now they got to go back to virtual learning.”

Whitaker Cannon said helped give out more than a hundred school supply kits filled with things like hand sanitizer, dry erase boards, paper and flash drives.

She says anything left over will be donated to Richmond Public Schools.

“We just don’t want to let the stuff sit so whatever we have left we want the schools to be able to utilize it so the students can save the parents some money,” Whitaker Cannon said.

You can help make a donation to Richmond Public Schools by donating to the Fox Elementary Fire Response.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.