Life

7-Year Old in Illinois Helps Restore Power to School in Puerto Rico

Thanks to the generosity of a 7-year old boy in Illinois and a little good fortune, an elementary school in Puerto Rico has power for the first time since September.

Instead of asking for presents for his 7th birthday, Avery Huddleston of Buffalo, Illinois decided to collect school supplies to donate to kids his age in Puerto Rico. Much of the island, including schools, are still not back to normal after the damage caused by Hurricane Irma last fall.

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Avery was successful in collecting supplies and got a nearby electric company called Ameren to deliver the supplies he collected. Ameren keeps roughly 75 workers in Puerto Rico for three week at a time to help restore power to Puerto Rico.

When Ameren workers arrived at La Escuela Rafael de Jesus in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico with boxes of school supplies and notes from both Avery and his mother, they noticed that while the school had been without power since September, a couple lights were working.

It turns out the power outage in the school was an easy fix. Ameren worker Mike Beardsley diagnosed a problem with the transformer. After climbing the utility pole and making a few repairs, all the lights in the school came back on.

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Students cheered enthusiastically as the lights inside the school returned while Avery and his 1st grade classmates were able to watch on FaceTime. It was undoubtedly the happiest day at the school since Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico.

Everyone at the school gave their thanks to the Ameren workers who identified and fixed the problem. Of course, as Beardsley points out: “If it wasn’t for one kind gesture by Avery, a little seven-year-old boy, they’d still be sitting in the dark at this school.”