When it comes to helping others, Tommy Rhomberg knocks it out of the park.
This summer, disaster struck in the 12-year-old’s home state, devastating his community. But the way Tommy has stepped up in his neighbors’ time of need is giving them some much-needed hope!
In August, Iowa was hit by a derecho, a group of intense windstorms and thunderstorms that can be just as powerful and destructive as a hurricane.
Homes were destroyed and many special events were ruined, including Tommy’s friend’s birthday. To cheer him up, Tommy decided to craft the baseball enthusiast a homemade bat out of reclaimed wood from the storm, calling it “The Great Derecho.”
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When others saw Tommy’s handiwork, requests for more bats came flooding in! That’s when Tommy realized he could use his talent for good, so he began making more. His plan was to sell the bats and use a portion of the proceeds to support relief efforts.
“I just wanted to make a nice gift for my friend. I didn’t know people would be so interested,” he wrote. “But since so many people in our area need help after the storm, let’s work together to make a difference for them.”
While his family was OK, he wanted to make sure others got the support they needed.
“We got kind of lucky with the derecho. We didn’t have any damage, but just driving around town, there were people with half their house destroyed, and I just wanted to raise money so we could help them, help people rebuild,” Tommy told CBS News. “I feel like it’s really helping people.”
So far, Tommy has sold 113 bats. While he isn’t taking new orders at the moment, he’s made a huge impact. He has already donated $2,500 to the Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation Disaster Relief Fund!
What a kindhearted kid! Fred Rogers’ mother once told him to “look for the helpers” in hard times, and clearly, Tommy is one of them! You can learn more about his Great Derecho bats (and request one of your own when he reopens orders) on his website.
Share this story to spread support for Tommy and the people of Iowa.
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