Each month, we recognize people who give back to their communities. It's called the Jefferson Award and this month we honor Carrie Robbins of New Lisbon.
Carol Robbins cherishes time with her daughter, Carrie. Illness brought the entire family closer.
Carol was diagnosed in 1996 with a rare form of vascular cancer. She got a liver transplant, but got sick again.
"I was jaundice, my eyes were bright yellow, my skin was almost green, I couldn't get out of bed," Carol said.
Carol had her second liver transplant in February 2009.
"She had to grow up really fast," said Carol.
Carrie was there by her side.
"Carrie was basically taking care of me," said Carol. "Making dinner, helping me do my daily care."
The community of New Lisbon was also there.
"I wouldn't have survived without the help from the community," said Carol.
Carrie was touched by what the community gave her an her family during their time of need, she knew one day she wanted to give back.
"I think the best word that describes Carrie is excitement," said Morey.
About 2 years ago, Carrie turned to teacher Rachel Morey at New Lisbon High School for help starting a new organization.
"Just made a lot of sense for Carrie to be the president of our organization which grew into the largest in our school." said Morey.
Carrie started the group Getting Involved Through Volunteer Experience or G.I.V.E.
Students go out in the community and volunteer their time. There are 70 members who put in 925 hours this past school year.
My dream of G.I.V.E came true and I am so happy," said Carrie.
At the end of the year, 600 students and 100 staff members from kindergarten to 12th grade took part in Service Day.
Each grade signed up for projects from spreading mulch on school grounds, to painting an elderly couple's shed, to walking shelter dogs.
When you are in a time of need, it's always nice to have other people step in and help," said Carrie. "It changed mine."
Rachel says Carrie's enthusiasm has rubbed off on other students.
"To me it means giving back what they've given to me," said Michaela Vinz, a sophomore.
"A little hard work won't hurt anybody," said Nathan Liddy.
Carrie is taking that drive to help other with her to college.
"I'm going to study pre-med," said Carrie. "I hope to go into hepatology which is liver studies."
Carries hopes to work in the transplant field because she can empathize with people waiting for a transplant.
Compassion for others coming full circle thanks to a young woman wanted to return a favor.
"Everyone needs to look after one another and it's just really important to do that," said Carrie.
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