02/24/13 — School rallies around family to help with accident aftermath

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School rallies around family to help with accident aftermath

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 24, 2013 1:50 AM

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Floydie Harris Sr., second from right, and his family, at the wedding of eldest son Floydie Jr., center. Also pictured, from left, sons Landon, a college student; Troy, a sophomore at Faith Christian; Floydie Sr.'s wife, Rhonda; and youngest son, Carson, a fourth-grader at Faith.

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Walter Sloan, right, principal at Faith Christian Academy, presents fourth-grader Carson Harris, 10, with one of the first yellow wristbands being sold as part of a fundraiser for Harris' dad, Floydie, seriously injured last month when a semi truck careened off the roadway and struck Floydie in his yard.

The morning of Jan. 31 started out like any other.

Floydie Harris had gone outside to repair a fence at their Dudley home on Pecan Road.

His wife, Rhonda, was preparing to take their two youngest children to school at Faith Christian Academy.

But then a freak accident around 7:30 a.m. drastically changed their lives.

A fully loaded semi truck left the roadway and crashed in the Harris yard.

"They heard the accident, they went out there," said Walter Sloan, Faith principal. "Mrs. Harris was trying to get the truck driver out of the truck."

A registered nurse, she was attending to the driver when a bystander inquired about the passenger. The truck driver said there were no passengers.

"It dawned on (Mrs. Harris) that her husband was out there repairing the fence to keep the cattle in," Sloan said.

They discovered Harris on the ground nearby.

The 45-year-old was initially taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, then transported to Vidant Hospital in Greenville, where he has since undergone several surgeries, including the partial amputation of his right leg. The other leg, Sloan said, also required quite a bit of work to first straighten it out and then set the four broken places.

It has been quite a challenging time for the family, who are "strongly connected" to Faith Free Will Baptist Church and its school.

"They are members here and have been for years," Sloan said Friday. The couple have four sons -- Floydie Jr. and Landon, who both attended the school before being home-schooled; Troy is a sophomore, and Carson is a fourth-grader.

The accident has obviously taken a physical toll, he said, as well as a financial one.

Since starting his own business as a general contractor, Harris' family had gone to one income. In the current economy, he often had to travel out of state to find work, Sloan said.

"She was not employed at the time," Sloan said. "She's a registered nurse and worked at Wayne Memorial Hospital for awhile but had taken a break to try and help (Floydie) with his construction business.

"That's all going to change now, of course. ... They projected and estimated at one point he'll possibly be in the hospital six months."

In the three weeks since, the Faith community has rallied around the family, generating an array of efforts to show support to one of their own.

"We're just trying to help them make ends meet," Sloan said. "There's quite an outpouring from the community here, people wanting to know, 'How can we help?'"

Students, staff and church members have combined forces to generate donations for the family, culminating with what is being termed "Floydie Harris Week," Feb. 25-March 1.

A partial schedule of events follows:

* Monday -- Sales begin of yellow wristbands bearing the message, "It's for Floydie -- We Care!" for $1 for children, $2 for adults, and Pray4FH window decals for $5 each

* Monday, Tuesday and Friday, students in grades 7-12 can participate in Denim "Daze." For $1, male students will be allowed to wear blue jeans and female students can wear jean skirts to school.

* Wednesday the school is sponsoring a bake sale, which the public can also participate in.

"We have appealed to our school and church families and to anybody that wants to do this," explained Sloan. "It's all going to come in on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning."

Anyone can donate things for the bake sale, he pointed out. Each item will be sold for $1, and whatever does not sell during that day, will be available for sale that evening during the church service at 7 p.m., at which time the church will also take up an "Others Offering."

"We do that periodically and everybody in our church, instead of dividing up (for classes), we'll bring everybody back into the auditorium and we'll have a 30-minute singing and then we're going to take up the offering," Sloan said.

* Thursday will be "Floydie Harris Day," with students and staff encouraged to wear yellow to show support for the family. There will be a schoolwide assembly that morning and a competition between classes, with prizes given for the best outfits.

* Friday will be a barbecue benefit sale.

"(Son) Troy is in 10th grade. His class voted and decided to do a barbecue benefit," Sloan said. "We're going to sell 500 plates."

The sale will be held at the school from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., with plates being sold for $7 each.

Individual classes are also collecting donations and holding other fundraisers, including lemonade and popcorn sales, doughnuts and more.

For more information or to make a donation, call the school at 919-734-8701.

There is also a Facebook page set up, at Floydie Harris Fundraiser, and on Twitter @prayers4Floydie.