Banks, COMMUNITY, News

Fundraising, counseling, and support: Banks searches for ways to help after child’s death

After a young child in Banks was struck by a vehicle and killed Tuesday afternoon, community members, school officials, and first responders have taken steps to find ways to support the family of the child and others in the community who may be feeling the loss.

A GoFundMe set up by Sarah Rossing, a friend and former neighbor of the family has a $15,000 goal to help cover funeral expenses and provide for the family’s other expenses.

As of press time, more than 110 people had donated close to $7,000.

“When I saw the address on pulsepoint my heart dropped,” Rossing said in a message to the Banks Post. “I used to live next door and I’m friends with the child’s mom. Our 9 year olds are best friends,” she explained.
“I said to myself, ‘I only know one 4 year old on that street. Please don’t be him!’ Unfortunately, it was him,” Rossing said in a message to the Banks Post.

She set the GoFundMe up that night.

At the Banks Elementary School, steps were taken Wednesday to care for other children who may be experiencing grief at the news of the death of a child in Banks.

“We set up a room where students could go during the day to process the news, either as a small group or individually,” said Banks Elementary School Principal Marjorie Salter in an email to the Banks Post.

Salter noted that school counselors are trained to work with students in the initial stages of grieving.

“All of our teachers spoke with their students in the morning about the availability of the room and allowed students to go there upon request,” she added.

Salter said teachers and staff would continue to look out for students who might need additional support that hadn’t availed themselves yet of school support.

“Banks School District will continue to monitor as students go through their grieving process as well as stay in contact with the families more directly involved to support them in their return to learning,” she said.

At the Banks Fire District, support was available to first responders who had responded to the scene. Three chaplains made their way to the Banks Fire Station immediately following the call and ultimately unsuccessful lifesaving efforts by those who had been there.

According to Banks Fire spokesperson Mitch Ward, Banks’ own Chaplains Mike and Lydia Durham were joined by Gaston Fire’s volunteer Chaplain Joel Peterson Tuesday.

“The Chaplains typically do a group discussion with those that were on scene, but will also do one-on-ones with anyone who feels the need,” Ward said in a message to the Banks Post.

Ward said that those at Banks Fire also had the support of their fellow volunteers and staff who had been on the call or had similar experiences.

“It’s a very supportive family for sure,” he said.

City staff chimed in as well.

“The City of Banks would like to express our condolences to the families, and the emergency responders involved in yesterday’s tragic accident. We are a tight-knit community, we are BANKS STRONG, and we will lift and support the families, our first responders, and each other through this difficult time,” a message from the city read Wednesday afternoon.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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