First grader from Jacksonville receives IL Governor’s Volunteer Service Award

By Gary Scott on April 18, 2018 at 10:15am

A Jacksonville first grader is one of just 25 people across Illinois that will be recognized at the 9th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service will present 25 Illinoisans and five businesses with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award during a presentation this afternoon. And among those 25 individual recipients is Jacksonville’s own Beckham Oldenettel, a first grader at Salem Lutheran Elementary School.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes volunteers who’ve made positive impact in their respective towns around Illinois, and emphasizes the importance of volunteerism and community service. As for how the local youngster has made a difference here in Jacksonville, Oldenettel says he collects books, which he then gives out to schools and other various organizations in the city. He says his older brother Kellon inspired him to start his book-collecting campaign.

“Whenever I was three years old, Kellon, my brother, he was collecting socks (to donate), and I asked my mom if I could collect some books. She put some signs out and people starting donating them. I’ve collected 5,038 books, and we’re taking them to the Salvation Army, schools and New Directions,” says Oldenettel.


Today’s presentation will take place at 1 p.m. at the Old State Capitol building, located at the corner of South 6th and East Adams Street in Springfield.