Following his wife's death Country singer Rory Feek built a school for his daughter with Down Syndrome after fans donated money
In an essay that was published on October 1, the 53-year-old country star spoke about what he did with the $100,000 that fans everywhere sent to him after the death of his wife and singing partner, Joey, in March 2016
Rory Feek, a dedicated dad who recently did something beautiful for his daughter, has come forward and shared the touching story behind the grand gesture. In an essay that was published on October 1, the 53-year-old country star spoke about what he did with the $100,000 that fans everywhere sent to him after the death of his wife and singing partner, Joey, in March 2016 after losing her battle with cancer.
The father-of-three has finally spoken about how he built a schoolhouse on his farm in Tennessee to give special educational needs to his youngest daughter, 4-year-old Indiana, who had been diagnosed with Down Syndrome the day of her birth. The doting father wrote: "Joey’s plan had always been to home-school Indy."
Feek wrote in the essay for Today: "To raise and teach her at home. Not just how to read and write, but more importantly, to be part of molding her character and faith and help her become all that she can be… But now, it was clear that we would have to come up with a different plan." The Grammy-winning country star wrote: "In the coming weeks I would enroll Indiana in High Hopes, a wonderful integrated pre-school a half-hour or so from our farm and she would thrive there for the next two years."
He continued: "Learning to walk, though later than other kiddos her age, and also to talk incredibly well, in spite of the challenges she had. And then knowing that she would soon age out of High Hopes, an idea began to emerge to have the best of both worlds: Indy having the chance to be part of an amazing school, and being at home, at the same time."
It is because of this that Feek started the Hardison Mill School on the family's farm in Columbia and it's just a "stone's throw away" from where Joey is buried. The first day of classes started on October 1 thanks to the "$5 bills. And 10s and 20s, and change and checks of all sizes" that the father has received from fans. He said: "When we spread their outpouring of love all across the kitchen table, it added up to nearly $100,000. It was beyond humbling."
Feek explained that the cost of the building, which consists only of one room and which was made possible by a community barn-raising, was about the same amount of many that he had received from fans after the death of his wife. The structure in general looks like it is about 150 years old and that is why he names it after the schoolhouse that existed in the town at around that period.
He concluded by saying: "Today was a special day for our family, a day when something beyond heartbreaking became something beyond beautiful. 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 speaks of his wife Joey very often even though her loss was an incredibly painful experience. He said in an interview that took place in June this year with CBS Sunday Morning that all the feelings he has towards his wife have not changed even after her passing. He said: "I feel just as married and just as in love. I feel like she’s just as much a part of our life as she was."
The couple had Indiana in 2014. Feek already has two other daughters from a previous marriage -- 31-year-old Heidi and 30-year-old Hope.