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Contributed photo / Among Battlefield Elementary School students who helped Blue Smith collect school supplies to go into backpacks are Bianey Vidal, Ryan Itani, Mattie Hall, Bryce Schoenekase, Jacob Carter, Luke Butler, Minthy Tran, Maddox McDaniel, Kaylee Tate and Shepard Hayes; teachers David Camp and Ashlee Sims. Smith is in the back row, second from right.

When Blue Smith lost his mother and stepfather to tornadoes that struck Apison, Tennessee, in 2011, he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from strangers.

He decided to pay it forward. With a donation from his employer, Tennessee-American Water, Blue purchased backpacks for a drive at Battlefield Elementary School, which is collecting school supplies for affected students in Mt. Juliet where tornadoes tore through Middle Tennessee in the early morning hours on March 2.

In addition, Blue made a trip with two co-workers, Chase Hester and Michael Daniels, to Cookeville and helped move a mother and her two children into an apartment after their home was destroyed.

Daphne L. Kirksey

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