GRAYSON COUNTY, Ky. — The letters were supposed to be for Angela Young as she recovered after she was injured in a gas explosion that destroyed her home and sent her and her daughter to a hospital.
"I feel like we've sent hundreds of cards," said Lacy Cox, an assistant principal at Grayson County High School. "It seems like everyone was getting really involved with that."
Cox said the idea came from Young's son, A.J., who is a student at the school. He had asked for cards with encouraging messages that his mother would be able to read when she came out of her coma. But Young, 41, would not see the letters. She died Saturday.
"It was just like a gut shot just because we had been doing this in the good faith effort that, hey, this will be so positive to her," Cox said.
Young and her daughter, JoJo, we leaving their home in Millwood on January 29, when according to family, the home exploded. Young suffered second and third degree burns to her body and was taken to University of Louisville Hospital. JoJo was taken to Norton Children's Hospital with a few burns and a cut to her head and was released a few days later.
Investigators believe a mechanical failure started the explosion. According to the state fire marshal, the home's propane tank had been filled a day earlier but the tank was low and family members smelled gas, but it is not clear how much leaked out.
Cox said the school will still send the remaining letters to Young's family but the community is working on doing more.
The school is collecting clothing donations for JoJo. They are asking for shirts (sizes 10-12), pants (size 12) and shoes (sizes 1-2), along with suitable toys. Donations can be dropped off at Grayson County High School (340 Schoolhouse Road, Leitchfield, KY 42754).
The community is also planning a benefit for the family on Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m. There will be a dinner, music and an auction.
"I think sometimes when you grow up in a small community, you're ready to get out and then when you leave, you realize that people are truly caring and really treat you like everybody's neighbors, everybody's friends, everybody's family," Cox said.
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