Emmalee Holmes loves helping people.
The Forestbrook Middle School eighth grader began volunteering in the community during flood relief efforts, and she has continued to give back during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emmalee has been volunteering at food distribution sites in conjunction with Faith Outreach Ministries, Lowcountry Food Bank, Beach Church and Myrtle Beach Bowl.
“The people love her. They expect to see her there,” said Teresa Holmes, Emmalee’s mom.
Because of COVID, volunteers wear masks and gloves at all times. Food recipients drive up in their cars and volunteers load items into the cars. The entire process is contactless. Boxes include canned food and non-perishable items. Sometimes fresh fruit and vegetables are included.
“We get there an hour early to unload the trucks,” Emmalee said.
Emmalee has recruited friends to help out and her brothers and sisters enjoy volunteering as well.
“It feels good to do it,” Emmalee said of working in the community. “We’re blessed to have a home and food and shelter. It’s always good to count your blessings and give back.”
Emmalee was adopted by the Holmes family after spending time in the foster care system. The family gives back to Fostering Hope through clothing and toy donations.
Emmalee said her experiences have made her grateful and showed her the importance of helping others.
“You never know when you could lose what you have,” she said. “It could happen in a matter of seconds. We’re blessed to have what we have.”
At school, Emmalee’s favorite subject is history. She has enjoyed doing projects through her school’s Maker Space program, which started in September. Each month features a new take-home craft kit, which is delivered to students in their classrooms. September’s project was a gator magnet showcasing Forestbrook’s mascot.
Emmalee said adjusting to virtual school during the COVID shutdown was challenging.
“I work better in person,” she said. “Some things, like math, are hard to understand through a computer.”
Outside of school, Emmalee enjoys cooking and cleaning and said making hamburgers is her favorite.
“She’s becoming a grill master,” her mom said.
Emmalee said she wants to join the army after high school, and also would like to pursue culinary arts and work for the FBI.
To learn more about food distribution events in Horry County and how you can help, visit www.unitedwayhorry.org/food-resources.
Student of the Month is sponsored by the Law Office of Ray H. Winters, P.C. Nominate your favorite students online at myhorrynews.com/contests.