SBHS students make difference through service projects

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LONGVILLE, LA (KPLC) - The students at South Beauregard High School are an example that one person can make a huge difference. Two service projects have personally touched Diane McMillian.

"Y'all have touched me deeply. I mean deeply. I've gone through a lot of troubles throughout the last couple of years and this school has been so amazing," said Diane McMillian.

Tragedy first hit McMillian in November 2008 - when her son Richard and three friends were killed in a car crash.

"He loved going to this school. He was a senior, but never got to graduate," said McMillian.

South Beauregard's Student Council and BETA Club rallied around the family that Thanksgiving.

"They came to the house and brought groceries deluxe. They have no idea what that meant during that time," said McMillian.

"We knew that she was going through such a hard time and that somebody needed to go in there and pick her up and so we knew that was the job for us," said Rachel Craft, SBHS Student Council member.

Then this March, Diane's husband suffered a massive aneurysm. "I was living down here with my husband and son. My son died, then my husband had to be hospitalized. I've basically been going through this alone," said McMillian.

Her husband now lives at the Westwood Manor Nursing Home - a place that the SBHS Student Council visits often. McMillian recalled when they stopped by during the holidays bearing gifts.

"I got all of these cards along with a monogrammed fleece jacket for my husband. And all of these cards from different grades," said McMillian. "I just wanted to thank them."

Words of comfort that have brought her to tears.

"It's really just unbelievable. You go in doing this as a service project - trying to make a difference and not realizing the under layer of your effect," said Brock Moses, SBHS Student Council President.

It's a life lesson that SBHS Student Council Sponsor Kim Hockensmith hopes her students take to heart.

"Incredibly touching and glad that my students got a chance to hear that. You don't get a tremendous amount of thank yous even though you know that it's appreciated, but to actually have them hear such a sincere thank you - was very special," said Hockensmith.

"From the bottom of my heart... And I know words can't really express how I feel toward them, but they just went above and beyond. Thank you," said McMillian.

In addition their Christmas project at the nursing home, the South Beauregard High School Student Council also adopts a grandparent and visits once a month.