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THE JEFFERSON AWARDS: 9-year-old Rochester girl is making a tremendous impact through various organizations

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — What were you doing when you were nine years old?

At that point in your life, you’re in fourth grade — learning all you can to prepare for middle school.

Our October Jefferson Award Winner is doing a bit more than that, and is now tied for the youngest recipient of the honor.

Her name is Addy Gore, and she’s only nine-years-old.

“A lot of kids this age are focused on just having a good time hanging out with their friends and that sort of thing,” said Danielle Teal, Founder of Caring Acts of Kindness Everywhere (CAKE). “Addy, on the other hand, has a focus on helping other people, especially those in need — and I think that is truly remarkable for a young lady like her.”

She has done more volunteer and community work in Rochester than most people have done in their entire lifetime.

Danielle Teal has known Addy since she was just a toddler.

“She’s jumped in to help at the women’s shelter, with Thanksgiving meal boxes, she’s very involved in her Girl Scout troupe and does volunteer initiatives through that avenue,” Teal explained. “But the thing that’s really neat about her — she leads these initiatives, she comes up with these ideas, and wants to do it, and goes after it.”

In fact, she started her love for philanthropy at just three-years-old.

“Sometimes people don’t wanna ask for help because it shows maybe that’s a little weakness, but if you know they need help, you need to help,” said Addy Gore.

“She has her mind set on helping and she’s gonna complete the task,” said Addy’s mother, Caitlin Matera. “Even at nine-years-old, she’s put herself through some severe stress.”

If you remember, a government shutdown from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 heavily impacted federal workers across the country, including right here in Rochester.

This was especially true for her father, Zach Gore, a correctional officer at the Federal Medical Center and Iraq veteran.

Addy organized a food drive for local federal workers right in her home.

“Their jobs get really hard sometimes then when they find out there’s a government shutdown, it saddens them,” Addy remembered. “Just because they’re not getting paid for their hard work. Especially when it was around Christmas time, like they probably have kids and want to give them presents from them self.”

“I’d be at work and I’d come home and Caitlin would tell me Addy’s doing a lemonade stand for the soldiers and the money would go to the Veteran Distress Fund,” said Addy’s father, Zach Gore. “It makes me proud. She’s always thinking about other people and what she can do.”

Overall, Addy’s parents say the Rochester community has raised her along with them.

“When certain organizations do send those certificates of recognition it means a lot and it’s gonna go a long way because they’re helping shape these young kids who are our future,” Matera explained. “So it’s not just us raising her, it’s these other companies that are taking the time to say ‘thank you.'”

“It makes me just rejoice. It makes me so happy,” Addy beamed.

As for the next steps…

“Mayor, governor, senator, and president… those are my goals,” said Addy.

Addy Gore 2045 — has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Maddy Wierus

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