LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - A Laurel Christian School sophomore was named as one of Mississippi’s Top Youth Volunteers of 2021.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards recognized 15-year-old Fletcher Horne for his outstanding volunteer service. Fletcher was one of two students in the state to receive the honor.
With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing healthcare workers to their limits, Fletcher arranged to provide more than 1,300 hot meals for hospital and nursing home workers to thank them for their sacrifice and service.
Fletcher’s father, Dr. W. Mark Horne, is the chief medical officer at South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel.
“Our family has had a front-row seat to the toll COVID-19 can have on healthcare workers,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher started a GoFundMe account that raised money to purchase meals from struggling restaurants and have them delivered to SCRMC and two nursing homes.
Fletcher arranged to buy the meals from local restaurants at a reduced price and recruited fellow students and adult volunteers to make contactless deliveries.
In all, Fletcher raised more than $12,000, allowing for 24 meal deliveries and a $5,000 donation to SCRMC’s healthcare foundation.
A Florence student, 13-year-old Abygail Buchanan, was also recognized as a Mississippi Top Youth Volunteer for 2021. Abygail helped lead drives to collect toiletries and personal care items to donate to veterans experiencing homelessness.
Fletcher and Abygail will each receive a $2,500 scholarship, a silver medallion and an invitation to the program’s national celebration, which will be held virtually. Ten of the 102 top youth volunteers from around the nation will be chosen as the national top youth volunteers.