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Draegan Bandy Wins ‘Neighborly’ Award for Heartwarming Donations to Local Charities

Draegan Bandy
Draegan Bandy Wins ‘Neighborly’ Award for Heartwarming Donations to Local Charities

Carbondale, IL – Draegan Bandy is a youth who knows how to give back to others. He has donated all the money he raised from recycling cans over the past three years to several charities. WSIU Public Broadcasting, a service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is pleased to announce Draegan Bandy as a recipient of the ‘Neighborly’ award in the Youth category.

“I’ve learned to do good things for others. I was playing in a baseball game. I hit the ball directly into the pitcher’s gut at a high speed. Instead of running to the first base, I helped him up. We need to help each other to live on this planet together, or we’ll just keep having wars. I didn’t go to first base because that person needed help. I wasn’t about to use my ability and take advantage of his pain,” said awardee Draegan Bandy.

“I’ve picked up cans, taken them to recycling, got money for them and donated all the money to charity. That’s all. My parents said I can do whatever I want with the money I make from recycling. I like to help the environment and help people with the money I make,”
Draegan Bandy

Charities Draegan has donated to include Toys for Tots, Cambria Toy Drive, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Homeless Pets, and most recently the Veterans Honor Flight. He also volunteers to help others at his parents’ business, Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch, in Johnston City.

“Draegan has always been willing to give to others. As a youth, he would pass along toys because he thought he had enough and others needed more. More recently, he began picking up cans not only to be environmentally friendly but also to donate the proceeds to local charities,” said Kelly Bandy, Draegan’s mother.

“I’ve picked up cans, taken them to recycling, got money for them and donated all the money to charity. That’s all. My parents said I can do whatever I want with the money I make from recycling. I like to help the environment and help people with the money I make,” said Bandy.

Draegan’s friend, Miss Barbara, has a charity where she helps homeless people and gives them food. That’s one of his next projects, but before that, he’s going to team up with Miss Bev, his grandparents’ friend, and help with a food drive.

"He sees good in others, has a willingness to help others, and gives of his bounty for the betterment of those around him. These are not qualities you often find in youth his age."
Brian Flath

“I saw Draegan featured in a news story on WSIL and reached out to his mother for permission to nominate him for a Neighborly award. I believe he demonstrates that helping others is first and foremost in his life through his actions. He sees good in others, has a willingness to help others, and gives of his bounty for the betterment of those around him. These are not qualities you often find in youth his age. I applaud his efforts to serve others,” said nominator Brian Flath.

About One Region All Neighbors

Inspired by the life and legacy of Fred Rogers and in honor of his vision, WSIU’s One Region, All Neighbors initiative encourages community members to nominate those who are making positive contributions through acts of kindness, compassion and service. Winners are chosen from nominations submitted by the public in five categories— individual, youth, educator, community group, and business. WSIU recognizes these winners on its television and radio stations, website and social media.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than five million people across six states and beyond through five digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and education and outreach services. They partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

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