#1StudentNWI: Washington Township, a Small Community with a Big Heart

#1StudentNWI: Washington Township, a Small Community with a Big Heart
By: Sydney Evans Last Updated: September 6, 2016

In a time of struggle, you turn to your community for support. Washington Township School has come together to support Jimmy Cox, a senior at Washington Township High School. On June 25, 2016, he was in a golf cart accident that led to a traumatic brain injury. From that day forward, the Cox family has been overwhelmed with prayers, donations and medical costs.

Two of Jimmy’s best friends, seniors Sam Soucie and Ean Johnston, have continuously set up different fundraisers to offset the medical costs.

“First, we started by selling bracelets with ‘JIMBOSTRONG’ on them, but then we went on to selling t-shirts for him. Our most recent fundraiser was a garage sale consisting of countless items donated by the community”, said Johnston.

The JimboStrong garage sale was led by Jimmy’s friend Emily Mueller.

"I came up with the idea of having a garage sale because I knew it was a good way to spread the word and help offset medical costs for Jimmy and his family,” Mueller said. “It was amazing to see so many people come together to support his family, and having his friends help me with the process made me realize how much Jimmy truly means to all of them.”

The community has had Jimmy’s back since day one and the community involvement has been unbelievable through the entire process.

“It was incredibly easy to get the Washington Township community involved. One thing that Jimmy’s dad has continuously said is that the WT community’s support has been amazing and indispensable for Jimmy’s recovery,” Soucie said.

Involvement from Washington Township has been effortless. It’s easy to support a kid like Jimmy. Everyone will tell you that he is such a positive influence and has the kindest heart.

Washington-Township-1Student-September-2016_03Senior Brianna Meade, one of Jimmy’s countless friends, said “Jimmy has been one of my best friends since the 8th grade when I moved to Washington. He helped me fit right in and he has always cared about me from the very beginning. His personality alone will be able to put a smile on your face at any time.”

His teachers feel the same way. Biology teacher and Key Club Advisor Barbara Rea said, “Jimmy is an all-around amazing kid. He has been very involved with Key Club throughout the years. He always does his best with what is given to him.”

Jimmy is also very involved in DECA, which is led by his Business teacher Julie Moore.

Moore said, “Jimmy has been a wonderful asset to the DECA team. He is a dedicated and hardworking team member. Jimmy is fun-loving and always great to be around.”

With all the hard work of Jimmy’s best friends and the WTS community, the stress of Jimmy’s parents has been eased.

According to Jeff Cox, Jimmy’s father, “Washington Township is a small community but has a big heart. From the day of the accident until now, the support for Jimmy and the family has been simply amazing. It started with the countless Facebook posts, Facebook messages, text messages, phone calls, emails and it hasn’t stopped.”

Kelly Hicks-Cox shares her husband’s appreciation for the community’s assistance, “The school, the families, the fire department, the coaches, the teachers, the administrators and so on have all been instrumental in our love of this community and the people in it.”

Jimmy has always been very determined and hardworking. With all odds against him, he has beat them and continues to thrive. Jimmy’s quick recovery has been nothing short of a miracle, but originates from Jimmy’s continuous courage and strength.

Cox said, “With a little luck and a lot of God's will, he'll be ready to resume what he's supposed to be doing: school and his senior year, college planning, campus visits, another round of ACT and SAT testing. These are his thoughts but with my words. That's how he sees things right now. What vision, what strength, what determination.”

Jimmy himself says that he is only looking towards the future with his school work: “I am studying currently through therapy and online classes, so I am able to go the school. The school is better meant for me. I need a break from school so I can get better.”

Washington-Township-1Student-September-2016_02Jimmy continues to immensely improve and work his way back to the honor student he is. Washington Township will be ecstatic when he comes back and welcome him with open arms. Seniors cannot wait to walk with him at graduation.

Jimmy has been more than thankful for the endless support, but finds it difficult to express how truly thankful he is.

Jimmy states, “I want to the say to the supporters that I am forever grateful! They pushed me through every day! I will never forget them! The school being behind and supporting my recovery means everything to me!”

Although no one knows exactly what he is going through, he handles it with such ease and remains so courageous. He even manages to keep his timeless sense of humor, saying “I am actually alive! I love friends and the family.”

Jimmy’s return to school will be one for the books. He will always be remembered at Washington Township as one of the most selfless, kind, and courageous young men.

The Unexpected Danger of Golf Carts
According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, “Small children and teenagers account for almost one-third (31.2%) of all golf cart-related injuries and accidents.” Even when driving a simple golf cart, you need to treat it as if you were on the road with other cars. Instead of swerving back and forth, pick a path and stay with it. Instead of going 30 mph, stay at a reasonable speed. Instead of taking sharp turns, leave yourself enough room to respectably turn. Whether you are driving or the passenger, it is important to stay alert at all times. As a driver, it is crucial to never drive recklessly. Think of your passenger(s) and drive respecting their safety, as well as your own. As a passenger, you need to stay alert.

Cox has some words on the topic: “Jimmy was the passenger. He was the victim of someone’s bad decision. He had no seat belt. He had nothing to hold on to. He wasn’t aware and couldn’t have anticipated the sudden and unnecessary left turn of the golf cart. He wasn’t ready for what was about to happen.”

Although there is no way to anticipate a potential accident, the Cox family hopes that Jimmy’s story motivates you to be more than careful when using a golf cart.

If you are interested in learning more about Jimmy’s story, visit any of the following: