During Monday’s Ludington School Board of Education regular meeting, the board held a special recognition for Sawyer Hendrickson, a sixth-grade student at O.J. DeJonge Middle School was honored with the President’s Volunteer Service for her volunteer service.

Hendrickson joined the meeting virtually and was congratulated by Superintendent Jason Kennedy and members of the school board.

Foster Principal Brian Dotson, reading from a press release. said this award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.

“Sawyer Hendrickson is devoted to serving her country. She spends numerous volunteer hours preparing thousands of stockings to send to troops overseas during the holiday season,” Dotson said. “This year alone, she sent over 10,000 stockings and 25,000 care packages filled with goodies and necessities to those that are deployed.”

Dotson said Hendrickson does this through her non-profit organization, Miss Sawyer’s Kids with a Cause.

Dotson went on to state her tagline, “Making a difference in the lives of our veterans and active duty military, one smile at a time.” It is a motto that she whole heartedly believes in.

“Sawyer has walked at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, laid Gold Star roses at Arlington National Cemetery, handed out patriotic painted rocks and participated in numerous events nationwide,” said Dotson. “Sawyer truly exemplifies volunteerism for the good of our country and that is why she has won the President’s Volunteer Service Award.”

Kennedy said on behalf of the district and the board of education, he thanked Hendrickson for her commitment and dedication to the servicemen and women of the country, her volunteer work shown and for her continued going above and beyond not only being a representative of Ludington Area Schools but the greater community.

“(You’re) a great young lady who is a representative of our entire county the work that you do,” Kennedy said.

Ludington board member Leona Ashley, a veteran, also took a moment to thank Hendrickson.

“It means a lot to the men and women to receive those things from you,” she said. “It is very nice of you and thank you.”

Hendrickson told the board that she has a planned trip to Washington next month where she will lay two wreaths and 2,100 yellow Gold Star roses at the headstones at Arlington.

“That is something that we do every year,” she said.

In its 25th year, The Presidential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes students across America for outstanding volunteer service.

“Across the United States, young volunteers are doing remarkable things to contribute to the well-being of the people and communities around them,” stated Prudential Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. “Prudential is honored to celebrate the contributions of these students, and we hope their stories inspire others to volunteer, too.”

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