SCHOFIELD (WAOW) -- Volunteers certainly make their mark on Central Wisconsin. At Newsline 9, we're proud to join in an effort to recognize some of them.
Established in 1972, the Jefferson Award recognizes businesses, schools and individuals who answer the call to action for volunteers.
Meet our latest winner, Peyton Medick of Weston, who helps keep area food pantries full all year round.
When Peyton was eight years old, a news story about hunger issues across the country shocked her. She learned that children, just like her, go to bed hungry every night.
"She turned to me and said, "Mom, we've got to fix this." Teena Medick says.
Four years later fixing it is her mission. She started Peyton's Promise. Her goal, make the world a better place by keeping food pantries in our area stocked.
"The pantries are never going to go away because there's always going to be people who need more." Peyton says, "But, we can always make sure the pantries are stocked and that's what's important."
Since Peyton's Promise started, she's spoken in front of countless classes and congregations and inspired people to donate more than twenty-one tons of food. But she doesn't take the credit. She credits the people who've donated to her cause.
Peyton adds, "I just need to keep going. The problem of hunger is never going to go away. There's so many people that have helped me through this."
Peyton's mom, Teena, says her young daughter spends several hours every week on the project and has never needed to be pushed to work on it. Over the past several years she's watched as Peyton has gotten more comfortable in front of a crowd.
"It's grace." Teena says, "She's been given a gift. She gets up there and speaks from her heart. I don't know where it comes from. All I can say is it's grace."
At just 12 years old Peyton is changing the world one can at a time.
Peyton adds, "Every little can helps. When you think about it, that's one extra meal for a family. One can can go a long way."
There are permanent collection bins set up for non-perishable food items at Pick n Save Weston, Weston Village, Bethlehem Church or Covenant Community Church.
Online Reporter: Cami Mountain