(LAKE GEORGE, Colo.) — It was the last day of school at Lake George Charter School on Thursday and students from each grade were recognized for their hard work during the school year. For two students in the crowd, they were called up by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1980 to receive the National Good Deed Award.
Mina and Eva Achord lent a helping hand during the 403 fire, by helping care for the evacuated animals and provide a source of comfort for their owners.
“They took care of many of those animals over the course of the animals being evacuated,” said ALA Unit 1980 Chair of the Hero/Good Deed Program, Cynthia Sipes. “They were there every day, and made sure each animal was brushed, fed, watered, kept in a clean environment, and gave them individual attention like speaking to them.”
This award is given to youth in the community for heroism and good deeds. An application is filled out and sponsored by an American Legion Auxiliary Unit, which is then sent to the National office.
When it came to the duties the girls took on, they logged the animals and made sure they each received the care they needed.
“So, it was just mainly making sure they have water, and it was still pretty chilly out,” said Eva Achord. “So, making sure that it didn’t have like a thin layer of ice or anything on it and making sure they had plenty of hay, cleaning the pens, just normal stuff and making sure they have plenty of company.”
When asked why she wanted to help, Mina Achord said, “I have always loved animals. I especially love horses. They’re my favorite animal and I just love taking care of animals.”
The Achord sisters took care of not only horses but cows and chickens as well.
The Lake George Fire Chief, Susan Bernstetter, was also in attendance, and shared the immense pride she has in these two girls.
“They took it on themselves to be right there and to take care of it so that the animals were taken care of and then the owners could have that peace of mind because they’re so stressed cause they don’t know if they’re going to have a house to go back to,” said Bernstetter.
Both girls shared their surprise in learning they were receiving this award. Eva Achord said, “I was just kind of shocked. She was like, ‘Yeah, it’s like at the national level.’ I was like, ‘wow.'”
The actions of the Achords serve as an inspiration for their classmates – how they can help in worrisome situations.
“The things that they’re doing now at this age and how responsible they are and devoted to the community, there’s no limits to what they can do in the future and what they might grow up to do, to be leaders in our country,” said Bernstetter.
These two sisters are a reminder of how the power of offering support no matter how big or how small.
“I just think that, like, if you have the opportunity to help and you can, then why not,” said Eva Achord.