Kingwood teen’s Harvey-themed homecoming invitation goes viral

A Kingwood Park High School freshman’s creative invitation went viral after he used a Hurricane Harvey-related poem to ask a longtime friend to the Homecoming dance.

Caleb Budde, 14, created a sign that read: “Roses are red; Violets are blue; Your house flooded, mine did too; Could I go to HOCO with you?”

Both Caleb and his date, Casey Smoot, saw their homes flood with more than 3 feet of water during Harvey in the Kingwood suburb of Houston.

Caleb’s mother, Moria Long, told that her son wanted to come up with a more clever way to ask Casey to the dance, which will be held Saturday. While his other friends got inspiration for how to ask their dates on the website Pinterest, Caleb decided to pen a poem. Caleb’s mom shared it on Facebook and it’s gotten more than a thousand likes

“We were a little nervous because we didn’t want her to take offense or start crying, so we went to her mom first,” Long said. “I thought it was really cute and so original, just finding the silver lining of what our families are both going through.”

The past month and a half has not been easy for Caleb or Casey, who began their freshman year two weeks after the school year was originally supposed to start.

The first floors of both their homes have been stripped to their studs. Caleb’s family is without a kitchen or way to do laundry in the house. Federal Emergency Management Agency inspectors only showed up to assess the damage to his house last week.

Long said she was eager to help her son regain a sense of normalcy by helping to plan his surprise Homecoming invitation. Long, Caleb and others gathered at a mutual friends house, and when Casey arrived, Caleb walked out from behind the garage with a dozen red roses and his sign.

Caleb’s creative invitation was a hit not only with Casey, but with thousands of strangers online.

“We’re just blown away with all the positive feedback,” Long said. “It brings a smile to your face, and we could all use some more smiles after the past month, month and a half.”


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