Allison Skirvin, a seventh-grader in Holly Richardson’s English class at North Putnam Middle School, was the 2020 Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay Contest winner. Skirvin’s essay recognized North Putnam senior Grace Timm for her work with the Shoes for Change project. In 2019, Timm collected shoes throughout Putnam County to donate to children in Africa.
The essay contest is specifically for seventh-grade students enrolled in the four county middle schools. Each school submitted two essays to the Putnam County Community Foundation for judging. Participants were instructed to write a 500-word essay about the philanthropist they admire the most. The essays were reviewed by four judges at the county level and scored on criteria such as spelling, grammar, organization, content of essay, and understanding of philanthropy.
Skirvin received a $150 grant to award to the charity of her choice, Putnam County Humane Society. Additionally, North Putnam Middle School received a $500 grant.
The contest finalists, in addition to Allison, were; Evan Barnett (Cloverdale Middle School), Anna Cox (Greencastle Middle School), Elizabeth Dobson (South Putnam Middle School), Asyria Ford (Cloverdale Middle School), Jadyn Gilson (South Putnam Middle School), Lenora Hale (Greencastle Middle School), and Keaton O’Mullane (North Putnam Middle School). The Community Foundation congratulates each finalist on their essays and their understanding of philanthropy.
The Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay Contest was established in 2006 by Darrell Wiatt, a passionate community member and former educator at the North Putnam Community School Corporation. The program aims to recognize everyday philanthropists in Putnam County and ensure that no child will graduate from high school without knowing the meaning of the word “philanthropy.”