Chamblee Community Pitches in After Staff Member’s Apartment Fire

Maya Torres, Staff writer

After any tragic occurrence, the Chamblee Charter High School community comes together to assist those in need. Larry Hall, who has been a member of Chamblee’s custodial staff for 35 years, experienced a monumental loss after his apartment complex caught fire.

“It was brought to my attention that Mr. Hall lost a majority of his stuff in a fire, because I help with payroll,” said attendance secretary Elizabeth Sanchez. “He didn’t give us a lot of information, because I didn’t think he wanted a lot of help, but we know that he would like some help.”

Sanchez sent an email asking staff members to chip in, and the issue was brought to the attention of Student Government Association (SGA) sponsors Chloe Kaspar and Mallory Clark.

“Ms. Clark posted something on the [SGA] Facebook group, and she said they were requesting donations,” said senior class president Lauren Carter. “Ms. Clark decided to extend the invitation to the SGA, since we’re supposed to be the leaders of the school. We’re supposed to share [information] with our class Facebook and Instagram pages, so we can spread the word and support him.”

So far, the drive has generated some success.

“I’ve heard a lot of people are talking about it, so I know a lot of people are considering [donating] or have [donated], so I think that’s a good sign,” said sophomore class president Olivia Hogan.

Hall, a longtime member of the Chamblee staff family, is beloved by both students and staff.

“I don’t think I’ve actually ever met him, but I know he’s one of the people who stays behind after school when clubs need people to come,” said Hogan. “He’s just really helpful.”

The custodial staff is a valuable part of Chamblee, and students and faculty both wish to show their appreciation.

“[The janitorial staff does] so much for us,” said Clark. “Every opportunity when we need them, they always respond. If they ever needed us, that’s our opportunity to pay it back to them as a thank you.”

Clark herself experienced a loss early into her time at Chamblee, and was overwhelmed by support from fellow teachers.

“One of the reasons why I [think] we have to help [Hall], is because my brother died when I was teaching three years ago, and I still am taken aback by how gracious our whole staff was when that happened,” she said. “I have been in [Hall’s] position, and it was astonishing how well thought of I was.”

Clark, a driving force for the donation drive, wants to share the kindness she was given with her colleague and anyone else experiencing a loss.  

“When one of us is hurting, we all try to step up,” she said. “Any time that we have an opportunity to be kind, we need to be kind.”

Those interested in assisting Hall can donate here or bring money to Sanchez in the attendance office.