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Civitans award three with servant’s heart award

(L to R) Rolets Buckner, Franklin Crosby, and Wanda Valencia were all honored on Monday by local Civitans for their outstanding service to residents of Colleton County with special abilities. Photo by Christie Slocum

The worldwide mission of Civitan International is to build good citizenship by providing a volunteer organization of clubs dedicated to serving individual and community needs, with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities. The local chapter of Civitans goes above and beyond to make sure they are living out the mission of Civitan International. They are helpers in the community and strive to bring awareness to those who live every day with special abilities.
During April, local civitans spend their time bringing awareness to those who live with Autism. This April they are encouraging the community to “Light it up Blue” in their wardrobes, homes, and communities to help raise awareness, as well as to increase understanding and acceptance of people living with autism. It is also during April that local civitans recognize community members that go above and beyond to work with folks across Colleton County that struggle with disabilities.
This year three community members were awarded for their outstanding service for working with disabled citizens. Wanda Valencia works with Colleton County High School students. Patti Lohr describes Valencia as “one of those teachers that were born with what it takes to teach students with special abilities. She genuinely loves and cares for all of her students, and it is evident in the way they love and respect her. People often underestimate what these students can achieve. Wanda teaches her students academically as well as with life skills.” Lohr went on to explain that Valencia is teaching her students to be good citizens. Valencia responded to Lohr’s words by saying “I am blessed for more than I could ever be a blessing.” Rolets Buckner works with the Colleton County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs (CCBDSN). Dean Redd, Executive Director for the CCBDSN, describes Buckner as an employee that works people that live in the community. She spends most of her time teaching those with disabilities how to more independent and less dependent on others. She may be seen in the grocery store teaching how to shop or at the pharmacy or perhaps even at the polls during an election, helping teach the basic rights that we all have. Franklin Crosby is also an employee of 33 years of the CCBDSN. Crosby is described as wearing many hats, but according to Redd one of the most important things Crosby does is help people with disabilities find work and serves them as their job coach. He helps teach them the skills they need to be successful members of the community. All three were honored during a bi-weekly Civitan meeting held at Shoney’s. Each received the Servant’s Heart award.
The Servant’s Heart Award is designed to honor teachers, paraprofessionals, and therapists who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These educators are the unsung heroes in our communities. For more information on Civitan International, please visit their website at https://civitan.org.

Christie Slocum (555 Posts)