Blueberry ambassadors honored at ceremony - WNEM TV 5

Blueberry ambassadors honored at ceremony

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A group of local do-gooders were recognized for their hard work making their community a better place to be.

The Genesee County Blueberry Ambassadors gathered for their annual awards ceremony on Friday.

A blueberry ambassador is someone who carries out a random act of kindness. It is something many of the 1,300 local students who were present at the ceremony have been doing throughout the school year.

"I used that $100 to buy 100 gallons of water and I gave it to a church in Flint," said Kathlyn Kraut, student.

The program was founded back in 2013 by Phil Shaltz. He said he wanted to change how younger generations interact with their community.

"If they don't start looking around their environment and understanding that people have issues they can help with, I think that's a detriment to their communities," Shaltz said.

Organizers said good deeds are too often overlooked and this is an opportunity to shed light on the importance of random acts of kindness.

The program got its name by a person Shaltz once met who said, "I'm concerned about the blueberries." The blueberries were a metaphor for all those little programs or concerns people need help with.

Shaltz said the acts can be big or small.

"It's important that we change the DNA of our young people right now who spend a lot of time in their rooms on Twitter, on Facebook, Playstation," Shaltz said.

While the students didn't do it for the accolades, many were given awards and scholarships for their acts of kindness.

Organizers said the crop of blueberry ambassadors over the last four years has grown to more than 3,000 children and they have no plans of slowing down anytime soon.

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