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Jefferson Award Winner: Joshua Reffey, helping feed the homeless

Jefferson Award winner: Joshua Reffey (Photo: WPDE)

"He helps bring the better out of everybody."

Eighteen-year-old Carolina Forest High senior Joshua Reffey is a force to be reckoned with on the lacrosse field.

"He's really been not only a dynamic player on the field, but off the field as well," said Reffey's coach, Will Loftin.

Loftin says Joshua is a natural leader.

"Even through lacrosse, he's just tries to get everyone together. And outside of lacrosse, the same thing," said Loftin.

As senior captain, Joshua wanted his teammates to invest more in the community.

"The biggest thing that he's done is he helped coordinate the Thanksgiving day dinner at the new directions male facility," said Loftin.

"Well, I take 501 every day. It's a terrible road. And I always see homeless people outside asking for food. Asking for money," explained Joshua Reffey.

He rallied 25 team members and cooked and fed more than 170 people at the New Directions men's shelter in Myrtle Beach.

"One of my best friends, he was actually a little skeptic about it, and he came with me, and he was like, 'Dude. That was, like, life changing. I've never done anything like that.'"

Joshua even bonded with one gentleman from the shelter.

"Him and Josh had a connection and he would help with water and help us get on the bus, help everything. And he loved it. And helped give him a sense of community too and team," said Loftin.

The man was motivated to get back on his feet and find a job.

Diagnosed at age six with a chronic illness, idiopathic arthritis, Joshua says overcoming his own challenges motivates him to help others.

"Me overcoming my challenges, led me to think, 'If I can do it. Anybody can do it,'" said Reffey.

"He's willing to do whatever it takes to help others," said Loftin.

"I enjoy getting people pumped up. It really comes from my parents. They raised me very well to become just a natural...natural, nice guy," said Reffey, with a smile.

That is why Joshua Reffey is this month's Jefferson Award winner.

To nominate an outstanding volunteer in your community for the Jefferson Award, click here.

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