Holy Cross student to be honored for selfless service

DOVER — Reagan Garnsey, a seventh-grader from Holy Cross School in Dover, will receive the 2020 Youth Virtues, Valor and Vision Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for selfless service, determination, innovation and ideals that are changing the world.

Reagan Garnsey

“Catholic schools are harbingers of committed young people dedicated to service and committing their time and energy for the good of others,” said NCEA President/CEO Dr. Thomas Burnford. “These students are the faces of Catholic faith at work in their communities.”

Reagan was chosen from more than 1.8 million Catholic school students across the country. She will be presented with the prestigious NCEA Medal of Honor and Certificate at Holy Cross School during the week leading up to National Catholic Schools Week (CSW), which this year is Jan. 26–Feb. 1.

“Reagan serves as an amazing role model for her peers and adults alike. We are all better people because we know her! It is very heartwarming to discuss her goals and vision for reaching as many children as she can as she demonstrates both humility and emotion,” explains Linda Pollitt, principal of Holy Cross School.

One day in March of 2017, while Reagan was having lunch with her close friend, Michele, the idea for the Buckets of Love Foundation was formed. They brainstormed various ways they could serve their community and decided to make a particular effort to help better the lives of children.

With passion and zeal, they left the restaurant with a great deal of work to do and made tremendous progress over the next few months. Reagan’s younger sister, Payton, joined the team to help realize their goals, and they established an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the state of Delaware.

Their work included a wide range of components such as website and video creation, a letter-writing campaign, and finding and washing buckets.

Since that time, the foundation has brought 6,829 Buckets of Love to young children who are sick, homeless, or experiencing other challenging situations. In all 50 states, these Buckets of Love — which contain toys, games, and crafts — have brought joy to children who need it most.

Garnsey believes, “It is a honor to win this award. It is amazing that the [NCEA] recognized me and others around the country for doing great things.”

The Youth Virtues, Valor and Vision Awards program is made possible, in part, through the generosity and support of Cross Catholic Outreach, a Catholic ministry whose mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Cross Catholic offers dynamic programs and free resources to Catholic educators to engage students in faith-in-action service projects and works of mercy.

For more information about Cross Catholic Outreach visit www.crosscatholic.org/PSCD.