Toledo school bands together to help student's family in time of need

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TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Students and staff at a Toledo school have come together to help one of their own.To say the Hodge family has gone through a lot lately, is an understatement. Adrena Hodge has been battling cancer and one of her daughters will soon need surgery. On top of all that,the family's home needs major repairs.

Teachers at L Hollingworth School for the Talented and Gifted in Toledo reached out to us with the story of little Julian Hodge and his family They're so impressed with the first grader, that when they heard what his family is going through, they knew they had to do something.

At just six years old, Julian Hodge is faced with some very adult issues, "I want people to help my family. My roof is going to fall apart and the basement is leaking. That makes you sad? Yes."

An estimate shows it will cost about $7,500 to fix the roof. In addition to the leaky roof, in the last five years Julian's mom has battled both cervical and ovarian cancer, "She just had surgery a few weeks ago. How is she doing? Good!"

Julian's two-year-old sister will soon need eye surgery, "She has glasses and an eye patch, and she can't see in this eye right here."

Because of all the medical issues the family is dealing with, Julian's dad William took time off work. The story compelled students, teachers and staff here at school to step in and help.

Rachel Williams was Julian's kindergarten teacher last year
She says Julian is a kind, well-behaved and well liked little boy, "He always says please and thank you. He always has his work done. A lot of times kids who are well-behaved are shy. He is not shy, he is very outgoing. He loves to play and he is friends with everyone."

When she heard about the family's struggles, Rachel knew she had to take action, "I truly felt called to help them. It was my turn to give back. The school community was so wonderful to me last year when my father died, I wanted to pay it forward. They are not a family that asks for a lot so when they did , I knew they really needed help."

Rachel says the family's story is also an important teaching moment for the students, "We've read books about helping others and how when you do help others it makes them feel good and it also makes you feel good. We've also talked about being sick and how when people are sick you need to be nice, patient and kind."

In addition to raising money to help fix the roof, the school community has also been collecting canned goods,toys and gift cards for the family

If you'd like to help, we've posted a link to the Hodge family GoFundMe page.