Community Builder: Red Cross VolunTeens surprise their leader

Updated: Oct. 9, 2019 at 5:49 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Some people have a calling to serve their community.

Sharon Draper-Pierre is a retired Army soldier who began volunteering with the Red Cross as a parent.

In 2017, the Fort Jackson chapter of the Red Cross VolunTeens needed a leader. Draper-Pierre stepped up, grew youth participation and expanded the program to local schools.

Because of her dedication, Draper-Pierre is our latest Community Builder.

“I wanted to get my son and daughter in something where they can give back as opposed to -- what’s for me? what’s for me?” Draper-Pierre explained.

Students meet on the base at Fort Jackson. They learn lessons from Draper-Pierre on how to serve their community.

Red Cross VolunTeens work in the community at places such as Harvest Hope Food Bank, packaging food for the needy, or at the VA Medical Center, visiting patients. They also help out at Red Cross events around the Midlands.

“The other day we delivered food to the sick and those who couldn’t come out and they were so thankful to see a young person, and to accept a meal,” Draper-Pierre said about one of their service projects.

Mamie Richardson is a volunteer who nominated Draper-Pierre as a community builder.

“The kids love her," Richardson explained. "She will go above and beyond -- out of her way, wake up early to go get them, and stay up late to take them back.”

For her service, Draper-Pierre got a surprise that left her speechless. As a community builder, she received $1,000 to go toward the nonprofit of her choice from Mungo Homes.

“Of course I am surprised," Draper-Pierre said. "Nobody said a word to me so I’m still trying to catch myself here.”

She added: "It’s just a joy to do what we do because we have fun doing it.”

Early this year, Draper-Pierre received the Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for Youth Services from the American Red Cross Palmetto SC Region.

Do you have someone who you would like to nominate as our next Community Builder? Click or tap here.

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