MADISON, ELLISSA, ABY, SHENEE, MOLLY
Photos by: Kate DeCoste
March 2019. Nebraska suffered a devastating blow as large amounts of snow melted causing disastrous flooding. This is the story of a community coming together as told through their eyes…
I was involved in helping the aftermath of the storm. My church was the donation spot here in Wahoo, Nebraska. It really made our community come together as a whole. We sent many truck loads into Fremont, Nebraska when no one could get in or out and they had started running out of supplies. This community came together so much and I am so proud of what we did.
My name is Madison Bittleston my passion is music education. I want to be a music teacher because I want to make a difference in kids’ lives just as my music teachers have for me. In this world I see myself as a leader that knows how to follow, and also when to take the side lines and be a cheerleader for the people I am leading.
In the future I see myself being a music teacher and inspiring the kids that I am teaching just as my previous music teachers have. My music teachers have left such an impact on my life, and I hope to do the same for my kids.
The water was high on the sides of the roads and school was canceled one day due to the horrible road conditions and the fact that buses weren't able to travel on the gravel and dirt roads. However, I know many friends and extended family were affected horribly. They lost livestock, valuables and many lost their homes. Schools were shut down for weeks and many had to find a place to stay and still are until their homes can be rebuilt. My family donated money toward the flood relief, my dad went out with his work to help distribute flood relief items, and I was personally able to help raise items and take them to the towns that needed them the most. My family and grandparents also purchased Nebraska Strong t-shirts and all of the funds went straight to flood relief. There are many great organizations to help the victims and the help isn't over yet. This will take a while to recover from both physically and mentally and I continue to pray for all of those involved.
My name is Ellissa Fredrickson and I am from a small town called Ceresco, Nebraska. I just graduated high school and will continue my studies at Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln Nebraska. I am very passionate about my faith, helping others and working with kids. I plan to combine all of my passions and become a pediatric physicians assistant. I love working with kids and encouraging and inspiring them to be who they want to be. I have been babysitting for six years. I have also helped in the preschool and worked with kids at a kindness retreat and I have loved every second of it all. I see myself as a very positive and trustworthy person. Although this world seems very big I try my best to make as much of an impact as I can on those around me. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and being there for them when they need me the most. I also love to travel and hang out with my family. I was fortunate enough to travel to Spain with my friends last summer. I enjoy life and everything it has to offer and try to live every day to the fullest.
My dad is in the United States Army and was stuck in Fremont, Nebraska for four days helping people evacuate the flooded areas to dry land and helped move sandbags to keep the flood waters under control. Fremont is about 20 miles from my home town of Wahoo, Nebraska. I was scared because while he was there he was always helping people and in the back of my mind there was something telling me that he was going to get hurt. Thankfully, he came home safely.
I love music and theater. Underneath all the stress of the preparations for the performances, there's the thrill of what will happen as soon as it's done. The people who've been there every step of the way cheering for you, the director's joy, all of it is amazing.
The flood that happened in March of 2019 has showed me how people can come together to help one another. My family build airboats, and my mom is on the rescue squad for Ashland Nebraska, so right when we heard this was happening we grabbed a couple of boats and went to the homes that were close to the river. My dad made lots of saves, and one of our boats we built was helping the Waterloo, Nebraska rescue squad, and the owner of the boat Brad Brown, got to give Vice President Mike Pence a tour of the flood around the dodge area on his airboat. My family never really thought about our own house being in danger, because when rescuing needs done that’s what we do, and that is my passion. I see myself as the person that a lot of my friends come to for help. When an accident, or in the flood for example I am a quick thinker, and I like to think that I have a great amount of common sense.
In my future I will always stick with our airbout business (NIrbuilt Airboats), but the airboats have many purposes and I would like to keep using them as rescue to help people and animals in need.
Over 10 members of our music department at Bellevue East High School were affected, some even lost their entire home. As a department we were able to collect items for those families and also held drives at our concerts to collect items. When we came together we were able to provide each family within the music department with items and gift cards and even had extra to share with other students outside the music department who had been affected as well. To me my choir members are family, and I’m so thankful we were able to do what we could to help them during this tough time.
I try my best every day to put a smile on someone’s face. You never know what someone is going through or what kind of day someone is having, and one act of kindness could brighten someone’s entire day. I’m very passionate about music. I love to sing, and for me that serves as my happy place. I’m happiest when I’m singing or performing. I’ve found through choir and theatre that that impact music can have on others is so strong. I often try to use music as a way of brightening someone’s day. I like to volunteer my time singing at nursing homes and also working with children teaching them the joys that music can bring.
I’ve always been someone with a big heart for kids and I try my best to help others as often as I can. That’s why I’m very excited for my future as I go to college to study Nursing. I hope to specialize in labor and delivery or pediatric care. I plan to continue singing in my college choir and keep music in my life however I can even though it may not be my major. I can’t wait to one day have a loving family of my own and a fantastic job where I can make a difference every day!