American Red Cross honors youth heroes

American Red Cross honors youth heroes
Source: WTOC

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The American Red Cross held their annual Youth Heroes Breakfast Friday morning. Thirteen local youth heroes were recognized along with one mentor from the community.

The American Red Cross helps countless people all over southeast and coastal Georgia, but it wouldn't be possible without volunteers. For the fifth year, the non-profit organization honored youth who have made a difference in our community.

"They are very excited and we are delighted to be able to honor them in this manner simply because there are so many children that do many different things," said Esther Sheppard, Executive Director. "But, for them to take time to stretch their hands out into the community, we are just delighted to be able to honor them for doing so."

The heroes had to go through a nomination process and an application process to receive the awards. Thirteen youth and an adult were honored as a mentor at the breakfast.

"Several years ago, I worked with Red Cross on the philanthropy side and I just fell in love with them," said Cecilia Russo Turner, the mentor Hero Award Recipient. "It's just a great organization. It's a volunteer organization, and that is what today is all about."

The youth who were honored do not just volunteer for the Red Cross. They serve various local non-profits throughout the community. Preston Slayton is one of the honored heroes. He volunteers in a hospital maternity ward - gaining experience for his future goals.

"It's very important to me cause I feel like I volunteer all the time. I dedicate my time to it because I love it. I mean I love what I do, so me being able to get recognized is a very good feeling to me," Slayton said.

Each hero received an award and certificate of appreciation for their work. Slayton says his words of advice for young people thinking about volunteering are pretty simple.

"I tell them to give it a try. You never know what you like doing until you give it a try. I thought the same thing, so I went out and gave it a try and I really like it. I do it all the time."

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