SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) One Lowcountry teen celebrated a special milestone Tuesday night with those less fortunate at Summerville Baptist Church.
Last year, Katie Stagliano became the youngest person ever honored by former president Bill Clinton for her dedication to helping those in need. She's also been featured in People Magazine.
However, she says her greatest achievement is making a difference in the lives of others.
Tuesday night, volunteers with her nonprofit organization prepared free meals for about 200 people in the tri-country. The vegetables served come from gardens planted and harvested by Stagliano's many young volunteers.
"We've fed thousands of people since we first started, so it's been incredible," said Stagliano.
For the 15-year-old, Tuesday's dinner was particularly special. It marked the third anniversary of Katie's Krops -- a nonprofit she created at just 12 years old to feed the hungry when the only soup kitchen in Summerville closed.
"I wanted to do something to serve those people who no longer had a place to go, so my friends and I came together, and I thought 'well, I have all these vegetables in my garden, and I have all my friends who would definitely be willing to help create meals from it,'" said Stagliano.
Today, her organization has expanded to more than 25 states.
"We give out grants to other kids so they can start the vegetable gardens, and then they donate the product to those in need," she said.
On Tuesday night, dozens of people took advantage of a free meal all made possible by her organization.
"It's a beautiful thing that she's doing," said Paulette Campbell of Summerville.
For Campbell, this was her first meal at the church.
"We enjoyed it. Everything was tasty. Everything was nice and just fellowship with other people and getting to know other people is just amazing," said Campbell.
"She amazing to have that much courage to go and do all of that and feed people. To me that's a blessing."
Just a freshman at Pinewood Prep, the Summerville teen says she feels fortunate to help those who can't always help themselves.
"It just really makes you happy and realize what a difference people can make when they come together," she said.
Katie's Krops serves free meals at Summerville Baptist Church once a month.