Jefferson Award Nominee Kera Gallinger

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Casper -(KCWY) "I tell her every day she is straight from god she is a special special child," said Arlene Gallinger, Kera’s mother.

Kera Gallinger a 5th grader at Sagewood Elementary in Casper has certainly left her mark; you won't find a student or adult in the building who hasn't been inspired by Kera.

"She is always putting others first, she is such a sweet child; she has a huge heart,” said Maron Barnes a Sagewood office staff member.

Since first grade Kera's mission was to collect as much canned food for those in need as she could giving up her weekends and even her birthday money to spend on food.

"Kera brought in more than twice what the entire school brought in. They had so much food that year that they had to actually find five different places to deliver it all," said Lynn Kahler, the former Sagewood Elementary principal.

"It makes me feel like I am helping a lot and that I can do anything," said Kera Gallinger.

Staff at Sagewood say her drive is unlike any child they have seen, her concern for the community her highest priority.

"That inspired me to think what am I doing? What can I do in our community to be more like Kera?” Said Brad Bentz a Sagewood Parent.

It seems her compassion is contagious.

"She inspired other classmates to go out and get cans," said Connie Key, the school lunch lady.

"Having her in my classroom really makes me feel that I'm a better person just for knowing her," said Kim Lau, Kera’s first grade teacher.

Even though Kera will be leaving Sagewood this year she says her work to help the community will continue.

"It does take a lot of work, but for me it feels like just every day and that I'm thinking of other people and not just myself," said Kera.

Kera isn't shy of the spotlight, as little miss Wyoming., she wanted to emphasize one important thing.

"Kids can do things and you don't have to be an adult, or royalty, or a big person to do something."

"Clearly Kera is going to excel in anything she does only because she cares more about others and puts them ahead of her own needs," said Kahler.

Her family and friends are convinced, if someone is to make a difference in Casper, it will be Kera.

"The world needs a lot of Keras, a lot of Kera's," said her mother.