One area student has learned you don't have to be an adult before realizing the value of giving back to your community.
"I've been looking for something to do, and I enjoy helping out in the community," said Anne Randall Hatcher, the 16-year-old daughter of Marilee and Randy Hatcher, of Martinez. "I wanted to do something to help others."
For her efforts in the "One Warm Coat" collection drive, Anne Randall was named an area Outstanding Youth Volunteer during November's National Philanthropy Day luncheon and awards ceremony.
The One Warm Coat drive began when Anne Randall, a junior at Westminster Schools of Augusta, was a sophomore. She learned about the national coat collection while reading Lucky magazine. With her interest piqued, she mailed off for supplies to get her started in her very own drive. Her first year, she and a core group of nearly 30 volunteers collected nearly 400 coats.
This year, she collected 150 coats during a two-day drive.
The collected coats, which were first laundered by Silverstein Cleaners, were given to the Augusta-area organization Miracle Making Ministries, whose mission "is to be the vehicle by which believers move from 'talk in the sanctuary' to an evangelical 'walk in the street.'"
"The first thing I'd say about Anne is it is her desire to give back and contribute to society," said Dr. Robert Williams, the president of Miracle Making Ministries. "It comes from the practice that has been lived out before her in her parents. They have that kind of heart. She is a young girl who does not live on the poverty side of society, but she recognizes the need and has the desire to help."
Williams said Miracle Making Ministries, in its 12th year, could not serve as many people as it does without the efforts of people such as Anne Randall.
"The coats that she collected have gone to individuals in need and to rescue missions for homeless people," he said. "We create an opportunity for people to do exactly what Anne did by creating networks in the inner city for their donations. We want to be the local organization or agency that people of the CSRA can depend on and know their time and efforts are going directly back into the community."
In addition to the coat drive, Anne Randall, who holds a 4.0 grade point average, sold Mardi Gras beads in her school colors during spirit week this year and raised $600 for Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans.
The post-Hurricane Katrina fundraiser was just one way Anne Randall felt she could help those affected by the devastating storm.
After graduation next year, Anne Randall hopes to spread her wings even more as she goes to college. Her desire is to attend an out-of-state college with a yet-to-be-determined major.
"I've been in Augusta my whole life, and I like to meet new people," said the Beta Club and National Honor Society member who also serves as the vice president of her school's French club and as yearbook editor.
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