Communities find ways to come together through tough times and UHS student Zachary Hutchison knows this firsthand. Although he survived the tornado, his home and favorite musical instrument did not.
"I was just an empty vessel for the 2 weeks after the tornado hit. Then after COVID-19 quarantine started, I kept wondering why this was happening to me," he says. "The piano was the one thing that distracted me from the sadness I felt every day. When that was taken away from me, it was one of the positive things in my life that just got shattered."
Once the local press wrote about the Foundation's contribution to the Upperman music program, a Baxter resident wanted to get involved by donating a piano. Emily believes this opportunity is much more than a coincidence.
"Sometimes situations just cross paths at the exact perfect moment and I have multiple reasons for believing this was one of those moments," she says.
Zach hadn't been to school for weeks because of remote learning. He just stopped by to take the ACT. Emily recalls the phone call with the donor and feels this may have been divine intervention.
"I knew exactly what to do and I asked her permission before offering the piano to Zach. She was more than happy to give it to him and is even going to hang onto it until his house has been rebuilt," Emily says.
It's what people do who have a love of music in this community.
"I haven't felt that kind of happiness in so long. It's been a year since I've touched a piano," Zach says. "When I heard someone was willing to donate one to me, I felt truly blessed."