FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) – Tom Shaffer was a name everyone knew at Snook Christian Academy in Foley.

“Just always there when we needed someone,” said Snook Christian Academy President Thad Butts.

Tom’s wife Laura is a third grade teacher at the school where three of their children attend classes. He worked for UPS, but when he wasn’t on the job he’d lend a hand here on campus.

“They just jumped right into the school. Tom helped us coach basketball. They’re just all into the school and wanting to help all the time. Her husband came down with COVID and was not able to recover from it,” said Butts.  

Tom passed away Monday from COVID-19. Parents and faculty quickly organized a benefit to help the family with final expenses, serving bag lunches Thursday to those wishing to donate.

“God just put it on my heart to help this family so all the glory and the credit just goes to God,” said a parent.

Butts says it’s never easy explaining the severity of the virus to students. He’s not sure who has been vaccinated or not, but he’s taking the virus seriously. Like many campuses Snook Christian Academy has followed COVID-19 safety measures throughout the pandemic. This week the virus is hitting too close to home.

“Nothing you can say or do is going to make it better. The only thing you can do is be there for the kids. We’re just encouraging them to continue to pray, to gather around those kids and for Mrs. Shaffer and let them know that we’re not going to let them down,” said Butts.