BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – In wake of the University of Virginia (UVA) campus shooting that left three football players dead and two injured earlier this week, a Baton Rouge elementary school is showing support for teammates and families impacted by this tragedy.
Trinity Episcopal Church and Day School is showing an abundance of love to a UVA football player and Baton Rouge native Michael Hollins Jr., better known as Mike, who was one of many injured in a campus shooting.
“Guess you just never expect for something like this to hit so close to home,” said Taylor Pearce, fourth frade Teacher at Trinity Episcopal Day School.
Five UVA football players were shot on a bus after returning from a school field trip. Three of them died and two were hospitalized.
“Our response in moments like this needs to be to pray,” said Rev. Peter Wong of Trinity Episcopal Day School.
Students at Trinity Episcopal Day School are doing just that and more.
On top of raising money to assist with Mike’s medical expenses, classmates of Mike’s 10-year-old brother Jeffery Hollins, or as students call him “Deuce”, are making ribbons, and cards, and wearing colors blue and orange to show support.
“These guys are so proud. They came running up the stairs with those baskets of money and they were like… Ms. Pearce, I can’t even believe how much money we’ve raised,” said Pearce.
Wong says the Hollins family is well-known and respected at Trinity. Mike, a third-year running back, often spoke to kids about the importance of education.
“Mike comes back and visits whenever he’s in town he gets the opportunity to sit and have lunch with them. So he’s kind of everybody’s big brother and everyone looks up to him,” said Wong.
Pearce said Deuce and his peers are some of Mike’s biggest supporters.
“Before big games, Deuce would give us a play-by-play of what is going to happen. How his teammates are doing. So like we are big UVA supporters even before all of this,” said Pearce.
Following the shooting, the Baton Rouge community rallied together for a prayer ceremony at the school in hopes of finding peace in the midst of hard times.
“I’m grateful that Mike and Brenda and Deuce have gotten just a glimpse of how much they mean to everybody here in Baton Rouge,” said Wong.
Ms. Pearce says that she and another teacher went to visit Deuce and the Hollins family earlier this week. The school plans to donate $1,100 to help Mike.