Giving Your Best: Stephen Schultz - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Stephen Schultz

By Jennie Montgomery

Time now to recognize a young person who gives back to the community... well, to his -grandmother's- community!

16-year old Stephen Schultz lives in Newnan, Georgia... but the family roots are here in Augusta.

One of seven children, Stephen is already accustomed to helping others, but through social media, he's reaching out to help hundreds-- and raising awareness of homelessness at the same time.

And that's why Stephen is this month's Giving Your Best award winner.

"It wasn't something you thought about- it was something you did."

Judy Stokes is talking about the way she watched her parents always help others. She grew up poor, but didn't realize it.

"They always found someone who needed help in the community that they reached out to, always."

It's a trait that's been passed through the generations. Judy's daughter, Michelle Schultz, sees it in her mom...

"If she found somebody who needed something, when she barely had what she needed, she would still go and buy groceries."

And in her son, Stephen.

"You think you're already compassionate and then you get out and actually see yourself what's going on and it grows your compassion."

The 16-year old recalls a kind gesture he learned from his aunt, who started buying McDonald's cards for homeless people a few years ago on Black Friday.

"She realized she was out shopping for herself and her family and there were people there who had a need. So she bought a few gift cards for them and decided to do it every year."

This year Stephen went along, and it sparked an idea for a Facebook page.

"I sent it to my friends on my friends list and she did it to her friends and it just grew. People kept sending out invites and we had over 1,000 people invited to help participate with us."

And that's what motivated grandmother Judy to nomitate Stephen for the Giving Your Best award. Because he's home schooled, his parents arranged what he thought was a field trip at Television Park, but it was really an excuse to surprise him with the award!

Judy's plan was carried out without a hitch!

"When they came in that day, he was just, 'We've got to do something!'and I was just real proud of him... and I still am!"

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