04/21/17 — Make A Difference

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Make A Difference

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 21, 2017 9:43 AM

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Gov. Roy Cooper stands with Mackenzie Hinson after naming her 1st kid volunteer yesterday at the Jeffreys building for her efforts to fight hunger in Wayne county.

Gov. Roy Cooper has named Mackenzie Hinson of the Grantham community as the state's first "spokeskid" for his Youth Make a Difference Days initiative.

Cooper was in Goldsboro Thursday afternoon for a roundtable discussion held in the county's emergency operations center to talk about recovery efforts following Hurricane Matthew.

Both he and leaders from across the county spoke of all of the volunteer efforts during and since the storm.

Cooper used that meeting as a springboard to proclaim April 21-23 as Youth Make a Difference Day.

Mackenzie, 12, opened her Make a Difference Food Pantry two years ago in Grantham, which serves 4,000 people monthly.

"We also know that young people play a significant role in volunteerism, and we have with us today Mackenzie Hinson who all of you know her story of how she set up this food bank and was already running it and helping people when Hurricane Matthew hit," Cooper said. "Mackenzie and her Make a Difference Food Pantry were there to help people in need and were ready when so many people needed them.

"It is fantastic what she's done. We got to thinking about it -- we wanted to encourage more young people to be involved in their community and to be involved in philanthropy and helping people in their community."

It was with that in mind that Cooper said he had decided to declare April 21 through April 23 as Youth Make a Difference Days.

"What I want to do is ask you to participate during these days by volunteering at a local nonprofit organization," he said. "What I want to do is spread this Youth Make a Difference Days throughout the state. "One of the things I want to do today, too, when I am signing this proclamation is to ask Mackenzie Hinson if she will serve as the state's very first Youth Make a Difference spokeskid. We want her to tell her story across this state."

"OK," she said.

Cooper told Mackenzie he wanted her to spread the news to other young people.

"I can do that," she said.

"I know you can. You can do anything," Cooper said.

Cooper signed the proclamation and handed it and the pen to Mackenzie.

"Thank you for all you have done," Cooper said. "I have been to her place of business, and let me tell you it is a well-oiled machine. She is the one driving the train."

Mackenzie was Cooper's guest at his first State of the State address March 13 at the Legislative Building in Raleigh.

During his remarks then Cooper recognized Mackenzie for serving food to 8,000 people in Wayne, Johnston and Sampson counties during Hurricane Matthew.