Putnam County second grader honored for his generosity by Charleston Police

West Virginia
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Media outlets across the nation have shared Austin Drake’s story of generosity and kindness.

A Chicago man even called our newsroom because he wanted to donate to Austin’s mission.

His goal is simple: collect dimes all year, cash them in during the holidays, and then buy gifts for boys and girls in the hospital

“That inspired a lot of people,” said Lt. Paul Perdue.  “More than what you probably know.”

Officers with the Charleston Police Department also saw Austin’s story.  So they are honoring him with all of the bells and whistles.

We’re right back where it all started- Women and Children’s Hospital in Charleston.

“Austin Drank, who is being recognized for outstanding performance as of December 21, 2018, is now an honorary member of the Blue Squad,” Perdue said.

To be inducted into the Blue Squad means a child has somehow made the world a better place, showed bravery, kindness and love.

Before he received his certificate, Austin showed CPD how it’s done.  They went room to room together to hand out gifts to kids like Franki.

Franki Harrah is a patient inside of Women and Children’s Hospital.  She is from Evans, West Virginia.  She said, “Well, I’m used to it, but for my mom and dad, it’s hard for them sometimes.  Sometimes it can be sad, but other times it’s okay because I’m feeling better with every infusion.”

In terms of toys, Franki received some wash-off tattoos and a stuffed animal, but Austin says he hopes he’s able to put a smile on her face, too.

 “This just kind of puts kids in a good mood for stuff and gets them excited about Christmas,” Harrah said.

As always, Austin is a man of few words, but it’s evident he enjoyed a day meant to honor him.  

He left with a stocking full of dimes, courtesy of CPD.

With all of these donations coming in, Austin Drake has a great start on next Christmas.

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