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Winner of News 5 Jefferson Award has been volunteering since she was two years old

The youngest News5 Jefferson Award Winner
Posted at 3:53 PM, Aug 01, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Isabella Hennard was only two years old when she first started to volunteer. The toddler wore a plastic red helmet as she helped firefighters "Fill the Boot" for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Isabella Hennard

"She's got the kindest heart I've ever seen in a child," said her grandmother Katherine Draper.

Her grandparents were behind the push to get her started.

"Every day, she is planning something new," Draper said.

Isabella Hennard

Whether she's helping to build beds for foster kids in need, passing out care packages for law enforcement on family trips out of state, or running alongside law enforcement as they raise money for Special Olympics, Hennard is always thinking of ways to help.

"We ran four miles never stopping," Hennard said as she described the torch run for Special Olympics.

Draper says her granddaughter wakes up every day asking how she can help.

"One year she got valentines and handed them out to the soldiers in Walmart," Draper said.

The moments are filled with important life lessons. The beds she built alongside "Love Your Neighbor" at Pulpit Rock Church in Colorado Springs sent off with permanent reminders of just how valued the children sleeping in them are.

"We put stamps on it that said, 'You are seen, you are known, you are loved'," Hennard said. "So, when you’re on the bottom bunk, kids can look up and see that inspiring message."

But not all lessons she's learning and passing on among her peers are easy.

"On December 15, 2022, a drunk driver hit my uncle killing him and the driver fled the scene," Hennard recalls in an essay she wrote for DARE.

It's a powerful personal account of her loss just last year.

"You have to learn about alcohol, cigarettes, smoking pot, and how to say 'no' to people," Hennard said.

Saying 'No' to the bad and 'Yes' to the good, Hennard is an inspiring little girl making big impacts across southern Colorado. That's why Isabella Hennard is the latest winner of the News 5 Jefferson Award.

Remember if you or someone you know is helping to make our community better you can nominate them for the News 5 Jefferson Award. The award has honored unsung heroes across the U.S. for more than 50 years. Winners here may be awarded one of five national Jefferson Awards for outstanding public service benefiting local communities. The ceremony is held in New York City.
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