PUEBLO — Age is just a number when it comes to making a difference in schools or the community. The Pueblo Police Department is now recognizing students who are going out of their way to do good deeds.
The initiative kicked off a couple of weeks ago and several students have already been recognized. Olivia Masset, 17, recently collected two large bags of stuffed animals and donated them to the department.
"I found some stuffed animals and I didn't have a need for them... so I figured other kids would love to have them," said Masset. "And I knew that the police department gave stuffed animals to kids in need."
While the Centennial High School junior donated toys, 11-year-old Naveyah Sanjuan donated her time during the first week of school. Sanjuan said she took time out of her lunch and helped her teacher carry her classmate's electronics back to the classroom.
"It just kind of happened. She was struggling so I didn't want her to drop anything or hurt herself carrying them back," said Sanjuan, a middle schooler at Roncalli STEM Academy. "It makes me feel really good that I helped her."
The two students' good deeds didn't go unnoticed and they were brought to the attention of the police department. School resource officers and patrol officers with the department keep in contact with one another so anytime a student does something helpful, responsible or makes a good decision, the student is then recognized by the police department.
Students are given "we saw that" awards, which comes with a $10 gift certificate to Baskin Robbins.
The Pueblo Police Department also hopes it's a chance to build positive relationships with youth in the community.
The initiative to encourage youth to do good deeds also kicked off with the help of other local organizations including Communities that Care, the Colorado Youth Detention Continuum and the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
"It makes me feel really good. I've always liked giving things and helping people out," said Masset. "So making a kids day makes me happy."