When a storm devastated his home town, a small Iowa boy knew he needed to do something to help. So, he started making baseball bats and selling them to raise money! Read on to see just how far this little boy had come in just a few weeks…
A Plan To Help His Town
When a late-summer derecho, a widespread and long-lived wind, and snowstorm, hit his hometown of Mount Vernon, Iowa, 12-year-old Tommy Rhomberg knew he needed to do something. Horribly, the storm killed two residents and destroyed countless houses, leaving many without power and acres of crops dead in their fields. When Tommy saw the devastation the derecho caused, he wanted to raise money for the people in his community, but needed an idea. That’s when it came to him: he would build baseball bats out of wood that came down during the storm. With that, he launched his charity, The Great Derecho, just thinking he could raise a little money. Tommy had no idea how popular his idea would soon become…
“I didn’t know people would be so interested,” Tommy said on his website. “But since so many people in our area need help after the storm, let’s work together to make a difference for them.” To the people who purchased the baseball bats, it stands as a sign that people can move on from the worst experiences. After all, Tommy’s creating the bats from the very wood the storm created! Now, he’s raised over two-thousands dollars!
Raising Over $2,500 With Baseball Bats
The first baseball bat took little Tommy over ten hours to make. In fact, after his first batch, he didn’t want to make anymore. “I kind of thought, ‘Oh shoot, Tommy. I think I would like one. Would you make me one?’ And he told me no,” mom Amanda Rhomberg said. “He still had blisters on his hands.” However, as the requests soon started to pile in, the young man steeled his resolve and started working on more baseball bats with his grandfather. Now, he’s raised over $2,500 for the Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation Disaster Relief Fund! From each bat, $20 goes to the fun. Meanwhile, people from all over the world have ordered bats!
Through it all, Tommy remembers how lucky he is. “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 said. “I feel like it’s really helping people.”
Unfortunately, Tommy is not open for new orders right now as he’s getting his well-deserved rest from cutting the shaping the bats. But he’s planning to make more in the future and grow in his craftsmanship. Previously, he created bats from wood during the weekend, and on days he’s studying from home. “I almost feel like this is a school in itself, you know?” his mom said.