Pulaski County sophomore starts Red Cross clubs, receives Hero Award

By Lindsey Ward - Anchor

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. - A New River Valley high schooler is credited with starting an extracurricular club that helps save lives.

Her leadership among her peers earns her the 2019 Red Cross Good Samaritan Hero award.

Tenth-grader Grace Bailey loves to take the stage in competition plays and musicals.

Bailey's guidance counselor, Jesse Kelly, took note of her courage not while watching her in theater, but pitching a new club as she entered Pulaski County High School.

"She stood up in front of the whole faculty and she talked about the Red Cross movement that she had already started. She started a club at the middle school. She asked if anybody would come out, if they wanted to be a sponsor for the club. I thought that was already so brave as it was to be a little eighth-grader in the summertime," said Kelly.

It was after the historic floods in West Virginia that Bailey came across the idea for a Red Cross club at school.

"I said, ’Hey, I want to create one at mine,’ so I did some research and I emailed my principal at the time at the middle school and he said run with it and so, yeah he trusted me enough to run with it," Bailey said.

As just a sophomore, Bailey has started two Red Cross clubs in the county, educating hundreds of people on disaster relief and organizing blood drives.

While she enjoys her time on stage, eventually she wants to study something in the medical field in college.

"I just love helping people so much and it brings me so much joy and then the American Red Cross, I just really love their values and how they help people in just completely different elements in life and I just really want to continue with that as a career hopefully in the future."    

Already, those around her say she's deserving of a hero award.

"I think she sets a great example everywhere she goes. She definitely deserves it," Kelly said.

"I haven't saved millions of people's lives, but I've done more than enough for me because with every blood donation, every comfort kit that we prepare, every money that we send, we are saving somebody around the world and that's more than enough for me to feel satisfied," Bailey said.

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