NACI student honoured for volunteer efforts


Online-Declan with award and sign

Submitted photo

Declan Smith of NACI was one of five Manitoba youth selected to receive the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. He received the award at WE Day in Winnipeg on Oct. 30.


Neepawa Banner & Press

Declan Smith is a Grade 10 student from Neepawa, MB who was recently awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.  He was one of five Manitobans chosen to receive this prestigious award on Oct. 30 at a special breakfast event hosted by WE Schools prior to WE Day in Winnipeg.

Declan has shown an incredible sense of community through his empathy for others and his commitment to the environment.  When Declan was 10, his young neighbour was diagnosed with a heart condition.  He wanted to help, so he made Christmas ornaments and ended up raising $1,200 for this young family to assist with their many health care needs. On two additional occasions, when young community members were diagnosed with cancer, Declan coordinated fundraising events.  Declan also volunteers his time with students with special needs at NACI.  He assists with their track and field and band participation. As well, Declan enjoys sharing his love of music at church and Country Meadows.

Declan is passionate about animals and the environment.  He volunteers at the local Bird Sanctuary.  He is also one of the founding members of the Neepawa Tiger Lilies horticultural group at NACI.  In addition, Declan has volunteered with the Beautiful Plains Horticultural Society for the past four years at their annual Horticultural Show. 

Declan has been involved in HOPE (Helping Our World Pursue Equality), NACI’s social justice group, for the past four years.  Throughout this time, he has participated in several community food drives, community spring clean-ups, environmental projects where he has taken on a lead role in advocating for the school’s recycling program, as well as many other fundraising events. He has also volunteered at Winnipeg Harvest with the group. 

Declan is a very caring young man who exemplifies what it means to be a true volunteer!