Rory Feek Used Fans’ Donations to Build Schoolhouse for Daughter Indiana
Long before her untimely death after a battle with cancer, Joey Feek -- one half of the duo Joey + Rory -- planned to homeschool her daughter, Indiana, who had been diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. In the wake of her death, however, her husband Rory Feek has found a special way to send Indiana off to school while also keeping her close to her mom's memory.
In a recent Today article, Feek tells the story of a one-room school house he built on the family's farm, named Hardison Mill School in honor of the school house that the same community's children had attended a century prior. Today, the school serves Feek's daughter and a dozen other children, and sits nearby the family cemetery where Joey is buried.
"Today was a special day for our family, a day when something beyond heartbreaking became something beautiful," Feek writes in the article on the occasion of four-year-old Indiana's first day learning in the new schoolhouse. "I stayed for a long time this morning and watched Indiana play with her new friends on their first day of school. And as I watched, I thought of how blessed we are, and how wonderful it is to be part of using our blessing to bless others."
Feek's journey toward founding the new school was made possible by the outpouring of donations from fans following Joey's funeral, which totaled nearly $100,000, sent along with cards expressing well-wishes for the family. Feek goes on to say that the family began to put their dream of building a schoolhouse into action in the fall of 2017, when the community gathered for an "old-fashioned barn-raising."
"But instead of a barn, we raised the walls and trusses of a one-room schoolhouse," Feek goes on to say. "One that looks like it could have been built 150 years ago. And it was the money from those cards and letters that we used to build it. When it was completed, the total cost of the schoolhouse was exactly what had been given to us, almost to the dollar."
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