AUGUSTA. Ga. (WJBF)– Zelicia Burns got a huge surprise when she walked into Red Lobster last week. She thought she was having lunch with her family, but she was actually being honored with the Giving Your Best award!
In her mid-20’s now, she started the “Make A Way Foundation” when she was only 18.
“To be her age, to have the mindset that she has, it’s amazing!”
Even as a student at Glenn Hills High School, Zelicia was aware of others who needed a helping hand.
“When I was in high school, I just decided that being in school with kids that needed items they they didn’t have, so I just came up with the idea to give back to the community, to the kids that are in need. So I came to my mom and told her I had this idea that I would like to give back to the community and I just came up with a plan to give back and ask others in the community to donate to the kids that are in Augusta.”
Zelicia’s mom, Felicia Dunn, couldn’t have been too surprised when she learned about her daughter’s desire to do for others, because she says she raised her kids to give back.
“We all just like to give and help when time is needed for anyone to get help. So that’s where she gets that spirit and heart of giving- our family believes in helping others.”
Zelicia’s annual back to school drive gets a lot of community support. The day is filled with fun, food, face painting- even haircuts! She has also started a scholarship award to help an older student buy their books for college.
“I just get my team together and we just gather supplies and pack up supplies inside book bags and I have other people that donate as well, like Lanier Meat Shop- he always gives me hot dogs for the kids.”
Mom Felicia nominated Zelicia because she’s seen her commitment and effort to do for others.
“I see all of the hard work she puts into it… getting donations together, getting letters out to sponsors, going out and speaking to them and asking of they would be a sponsor for the back to school drive that she’s doing- so I’ve seen on the back end all the hard work she’s doing to support 300-400 kids each year.”