FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Fort Drum family dedicated to giving back is receiving national recognition.
For Staff Sgt. Casey Raines and his wife Brittany, volunteering is a way of life.
And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
“It’s a product of just how we were raised and up-brought,” Sgt. Raines said, “and we want our kids to have the same values.”
It seems their kids have learned to love giving back, too.
Some even have a favorite volunteer activity.
“Mine is wreaths across America,” Brooklyn Zamora said, “when you lay wreaths down at Arlington.”
"Mine is the Warm Up Watertown," Mason Zamora said.
What’s Warm Up Watertown? It’s a program started by the Raines family, collecting scarves for people in need.
“Our kids even collect at school every year,” Brittany Raines said, “and we go put them out for people who might need them to warm up.”
All of the family's work is paying off.
The Association of the U.S. Army is recognizing the Raines as the National Volunteer Family of the Year.
“I know the AUSA looks at not only what we do on the Fort Drum community, but also what we do to make an impact in the Watertown and surrounding communities,” Brittany Raines said.
But Sgt. Raines says while he appreciates the award, it's not the reason his family gives back.
“It is a huge honor, it’s a big deal,” he said, “but for us, it’s just something that we do. It’s not really for the recognition.”
Kids from the Raines share some of the lessons they've learned while volunteering."
“Doing something kind,” Kamden Raines said, “and it doesn’t matter if somebody’s watching or not.”
“Being able to help people,” said Caiden Raines
Brittany Raines says the award opens her family to more volunteer opportunities.
But recognition or not, they’ll continue giving back just as they’ve always done.