HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - A selfless spirit and a big heart for veterans are some of the qualities that describe a high school student featured in this week’s Student Spotlight.
Hartsville High School junior Kimberly McElroy used a small token to help spread love to others. On Valentine’s Day this year, McElroy created an event called “Flowers for Vets.” It was a day of love to honor veterans and widows for the sacrifices they’ve made for our country.
“This was one of my grandfather’s best friends, he was my first donation he helped me a lot and supported me it was great joy to see him come out there,” said McElroy as she recalled back to the day.
McElroy decided to use Flower for Vets as her service project for the Miss Hartsville High pageant. She said her friends convinced her to compete and although she didn’t place in it, she said, “I don’t wear dresses, but they said Kimberly do it, do it, so I did it for fun and it was to spend time with them.”
McElroy added she walked away learning much more and her goal was to honor her grandfather’s legacy, thinking of him with each rose she handed out.
“He served in the Marines, then National Guard and the National Guard Reserves. He was not my blood grandfather, he is my dad’s stepdad, but you would not know it," McElroy explained.
A book full of signatures from people is a memento for McElroy used to remember people’s stories and the price they paid for our freedom. She said, “I went and got some local businesses to donate money to me, so I wouldn’t have to buy them all myself to get these roses.”
To continue her heart to serve others, McElroy said, “Right now I’m looking to go to Florence Darlington Tech and after I leave there hopefully go to Francis Marion, but I want to be a registered nurse.”
McElroy said she hopes her service project will grow into an annual community wide event, one that will expand each year.