Giving Your Best: Maxine Donaldson - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Maxine Donaldson

By Jennie Montgomery

"Ooooh, you some hot mess!" exlaimed Giving Your Best award winner Maxine Donaldson.

Maxine Donaldson can't hide her enthusiasm about winning the Giving Your Best award! And it's that bubbly personality that draws people to her.

Piccola Smith nominated Maxine for the award."I just felt it was time that she got her due!" she said.

Mrs. Smith has been a teacher for 28 years, but having Maxine as an assistant in her classroom taught her lessons you don't find in textbooks.

"I would watch her day to day put together things for these girls and I would always ask her, 'Where's the money coming from?' and she would just always go beyond what it took to make sure that they had everything that they needed, and I was just so overwhelmed by what she did, it was just amazing to me," said Smith.

Maxine has a 14-year old daughter and a fulltime job, but still makes time to mentor dozens of young girls in a neighborhood she feels got left behind.

"I reached out to that community because I felt like they were on the back burner, everybody forgets about Hyde Park," said Maxine.

Maxine started the non-profit, "Big Sisters in Action," seven years ago at Bungalow Elementary School in Augusta.

"A group of paraprofessionals and teachers got together and paired ourselves off with kids who needed our help," said Maxine.

"I've gone out and done workshops for her," Smith explains, "and she makes me cook my famous macaroni when it's time to feed during Thanksgiving, and I've helped her transport the donations from the community."

Maxine says her desire to mentor comes from being blessed to choose the right path in life,
"I just want to make sure that I can reach out to some other young lady to let them know that you can live your life without doing the wrong things - there's choices that you have to make in life."

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