Love for art history inspires Woodall to take action after Notre-Dame tragedy


Neveah Jones

Coppell High School senior Pierce Woodall displays a T-shirt design dedicated to the burning of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. Woodall started a fundraiser on Facebook to sell her T-shirts, and the proceeds help with the building’s restoration and renovation.

By Sydney Rowe, Coppell High School

Coppell High School senior Pierce Woodall has always had a passion for art and its history. After the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral on April 15, Woodall decided to start the fundraiser “Rebuild” to help reconstruct the church.

Only hours after the fire, Woodall took quick action and posted the fundraiser on her Facebook. She created a CustomInk design featuring a cut-out photo of the church and large text that says “REBUILD” in the blue, white and red of the French flag. She is selling navy blue short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts.

“In technical terms, my goal is to sell 50 pieces of clothing,” Woodall said. “My actual goal is just to raise awareness for the whole situation.”

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is in the center of the city of Paris. The idolized building began construction in 1163 and is a world-famous symbol for Paris, making the destruction of the building that much harder for Woodall.

“Whenever it burned it was really sad, really upsetting, especially for someone like me who really enjoys art history,” Woodall said.

All proceeds for the fundraiser will go towards the The Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris organization, whose main goal is to focus on the restoration and preservation of the cathedral.

“Friends of Notre Dame is a 501c3 charity that is in [Washington D. C.] and is run by Catholic priests,” Woodall said. “Their whole purpose, even before the fire, is to restore Notre-Dame.”

Woodall originally received the news of the fire from her former art history classmates, CHS seniors Lillie Brummitt and Lexi Rivera. Hearing the news and watching live footage of the flames inspired Woodall to take action.

“It was really cool once I heard Pierce was starting the fundraiser,” Rivera said. “I was really proud of her for wanting to do that.”

Both Rivera and Brummitt describe Woodall as an extremely caring person and neither was shocked to hear she was making her own efforts for the cause.

“Pierce is a very caring human being,” Brummitt said. “Anytime I was having a problem, she could tell I was upset, she’s always one of the first ones to be there and support me.”

One casualty to the building was the spire. Woodall recalls the moment the structure fell as being highly emotional for her.

“I remember watching the video of the spire falling, and I watched it and started crying,” Woodall said. “It was really sad. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a really big piece of history’.”

This fall, Woodall will attend Columbia University and minor in art history. Her love for art is one of the reasons she decided to help fund to rebuild the 856-year-old church.

“People always ask me why I care about Notre-Dame so much,” Woodall said. “Art history is really my thing, and the whole historical aspect of Notre Dame is really important. I’m glad I can do my part to help.”

Woodall’s fundraiser is open until May 18. You can donate at

Follow Sydney on Twitter @syd2182

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on May 10, 2019.