Ballance earns volunteerism award

Published 7:26 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A First Baptist Christian School student has received a statewide award for her volunteer service.

Amber Ballance, 18, earned a Certificate of Excellence from the 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. Her principal nominated her for the award.


Ballance has organized toy drives, shoe drives and gift boxes for children in the community and in West Virginia, as well as a number of other projects.

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She said her faith is what drives her to lead the projects.

“In Matthew 25:40, it’s talking about whatever you do to the least of these, you’re doing for Christ,” she said. “That description has inspired me throughout the years.”

Most of Ballance’s community service has been done through the National Honor Society chapter at the school. She helped organize the toy drives and shoe drives for local families and those in a needy community in West Virginia that Southside Baptist Church was ministering to.

She also has organized and participated in weekly tutoring of struggling students and organized the cleanup of school hallways and lockers.

“I just started developing things so the students could help out where it was needed,” she said.

Outside of school, she has assisted in the Taste of Suffolk, Salvation Army bell-ringing, Operation Christmas Child and concessions at local youth sports games.

“The toy drive was one of my favorites because Christmas is really special to me,” she said. “I knew that all of these toys we were gathering were going to kids that weren’t having a Christmas. I also got to deliver the shoes to the Salvation Army workers. They were so happy to get them and you could see the relief on their faces.”

Ballance was one of only about 800 students recognized by the program from throughout the country.

“Through their selfless acts of service, these award recipients have greatly improved the lives of others,” said Prudential chairman and chief executive officer John Strangfeld. “We hope their stories and their dedication inspire other young people to do the same.”