As we learn more about Anderson County, today we are excited to feature Donna Crain Drury!
Donna participates in the UWBG Trailblazers program, serves on UWBG’s Anderson County Board of Trustees, and is also involved with her community in many other ways. She created the SOS (Saving Our Students) Youth Coalition at Anderson County High School, which educates students about the dangers and consequences of drug use. She is the Founder and Director of Mirrors of Grace, an organization that teaches etiquette to children, mentors middle and high school students and assists students in college and job preparation by helping prepare for interviews, helping write resumes, and helping find scholarships. She is the Coordinator and Community Liaison for the ASAP (Agency for Substance Abuse Policy) Board, where she organizes the board and assists in the organization of activities and events within the community.
Donna is the President and Founding Member of the Kiwanis Club of Lawrenceburg, where she leads activities and events for children and their families. She is a Co-Founder of the LIGHT (Living in God’s Hope & Truth) Center in Lawrenceburg, which helps people with everyday challenges by providing food, paying bills and helping them to find jobs. She is a Member of the Anderson County Community Early Childhood Council, which works to educate preschoolers so they can be on an equal learning level when they enter preschool and/or kindergarten. She is also an Interagency Council Member for Anderson County and served 2 terms on the Anderson County Board of Education.
“I know I can’t save the world, I’m only one person. But I think if every person can just do one or two little things to make life better for someone else, that’s a start.” -Donna Crain Drury
Let’s learn more about Donna in our question and answer session below!
What made you realize you had a passion for community service?
My parents and grandparents always taught us to be grateful for everything we have, regardless of how much it is, and always give back when you can. This didn’t really stick with me until after I retired and I was sitting around without much to do. So I started fundraising for different groups in the community, and I started meeting all these people who shared my passion to give back. Once I got involved, I got that passion. And now it’s a passion I can’t let go.
What is your role with the Anderson County Trailblazers?
I work in different schools in various ways, I guess you could say that I wear a lot of different hats. But I also wear the hat of a Trailblazer. I go into the schools and mentor students who are struggling with school and work with an anti-drug program that educates kids about the dangers and consequences of drug use. I basically do whatever is needed or whatever the principal or teachers need. It varies from day to day, but mainly I just work with the kids, mentoring and tutoring them. I also created a program of my own called Mirrors of Grace, where I mentor students and help prepare them for their future, whether that be giving them advice on how to get scholarships or how to get a job. These are also part of my Trailblazer hours.
What is your role as a board of trustees member of Anderson County United Way?
As a board of trustees member, I organize and create fundraisers for local organizations and work with several local entities, including the schools, to help them secure UWBG grants. We usually meet every month and talk about what we can do to better our community. United Way is great because they understand that the local people know best when it comes to what is needed in the community, so they meet with us and discuss what our community needs and how they can help.
What is your favorite part of these roles?
First, I really enjoy helping people become better in any way, whether that’s helping them become a better citizen, student, I enjoy that. I see a lot of people who are struggling to make ends meet and all they need is a hand up and I enjoy being able to provide that for them. I think of it more as helping others empower themselves. A lot of people don’t know how to do that, and don’t know how to reach out for help or where to go.
Second, I really enjoy working with people who share the same goals of making our community better and helping people have a better life. Sometimes all it takes is a meal or helping someone pay their bill in order for them to get back on their feet. I really enjoy seeing how the little things make a big impact.
What about being in these roles inspires you?
I think it’s just the fact that whatever I’m doing, I know that I’m helping other people and their families. That’s what really inspires me. I know I can’t save the world, I’m only one person. But I think if every person can just do one or two little things to make life better for someone else, that’s a start. Our community in Anderson County is so small, so I’ve been able to see the work that I do have a ripple effect. When people ask me what they can do to help their community, I tell them to go do one kind thing for someone, because that will have a ripple effect and help the lives of a lot of people.
What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Caring, kind, dedicated, trustworthy and hardworking.
If you could time travel, would you go back in time or to the future? What would you do?
As much as I’d love to know what the future holds, I’d go back in time so that I could take the knowledge that I have now and make a bigger difference in the lives of so many people. I’ve seen over the years that it doesn’t take much, it’s just the little things.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would want to be able to cure cancer. I’d like to be able to touch everybody that has cancer and it would just magically disappear.
What’s your go-to snack food?
Fruits and vegetables.
“I’m so passionate about United Way of the Bluegrass. I remember hearing about it many years ago, but never really heard about it in Anderson County. After I was asked to serve on the board, I learned about what all United Way does. One of the things I really want to do is get the message out there - I want to tell members of our community about what United Way does and how United Way benefits us so that more people will give to United Way. United Way is wonderful for our community and I am very grateful that they continue to be a part of our community and continue to support us here in Anderson County.” -Donna Crain Drury