AUGUSTA, Ga. —    This month’s Giving Your Best winner has volunteered with youth in South Augusta since he was 19-years-old.

Marcus Beard is a familiar face to people who visit the Augusta South Family YMCA on Tobacco Road. We surprised him with the Giving Your Best award at the place where he does what he loves…  where kids learn the rules of the game and sportsmanship. And there’s another benefit: it keeps them doing something positive and constructive with their time.

Beard has a passion for building character, friendships, and teaching the game he loves… and that’s why he’s a Giving Your Best award winner.

“Basketball is just something that comes naturally to him,” says D’Naye Washington, who has know Marcus since they were in high school together.

Beard loves kids AND sports… and has given many children the opportunity to be a part of a basketball camp.  For the past two years, he has worked hard to coordinate a free summer basketball camp.

“I have a friend who works with me. He’s a coach and he allows me to come in and work with the kids and invited kids from the community to come up.”

Washington, who nominated Beard for the Giving Your Best award, says he encourages kids to reach their full potential– not just in sports, but in school.

“He does this out of the passion of his heart for the children and he works so hard with them.”

Marcus Beard is a man on a mission: planting positive seeds and being a role model for many young men to look up to.

“Nowadays there are so many single-parent homes that we as a community, takes a community to raise a child, so I just felt it was my duty to do so.”

“He’s a good role model for the children to look up to,” adds Washington, “he’s always positive and uplifting with his own kids and mine, as well as many others.”

Beard is a friend and father figure, giving his best on and off the court.

“Hanging out with kids on Saturday, my own children, then I started inviting other children out, just trying to keep them out of trouble and give them a positive outlet.”

Jennie: Would you encourage other people, especially other men, to step up like that?

“Yes, cause like I said, there’s just so much going on in the world today and just to see a child smiling is all I want to do.”