Carolyn Pierce has a heartfelt devotion to helping children grow and learn.

“I’m passionate about making sure children have what they need to be successful in school,” says Carolyn. It all starts with having good food to eat every day. I try to do my part to make sure that happens.”

Carolyn has been a part of F.U.E.L. Ministries in Clarksville, Tennessee, since 2010. F.U.E.L. – spelled with all caps and periods to emphasize the word – is a nonprofit organization that works through local churches to fill backpacks with “fuel,” or food, to help needy school children avoid going hungry on weekends or school breaks. The organization believes that relieving hunger in school-aged children enhances spiritual, physical and emotional health, which leads to less anxiety, improved attention and self-esteem, and increased academic performance and graduation rates.

Each month, Carolyn’s Sunday school class fills more than 45 backpacks with food for F.U.E.L. Her church also sponsors an annual fundraiser for the organization called the I SCREAM for F.U.E.L. Ice Cream Freeze-off. “Several churches go in together with us to make the ice cream and then people attending make a donation in order to taste and vote for their favorite ice cream,” Carolyn said. “It’s my church’s largest fundraiser for F.U.E.L. each year. We raised more than $4,000 last year.”

Citing Carolyn’s dedication to nurturing hungry children in her community, Regions Bank presented Carolyn the Better Life Award today. The Better Life Award is the top honor given to a Regions associate for outstanding dedication and job performance, as well as exemplary involvement and commitment to the community.

Together with the Better Life Award recognition, Regions donates $1,000 in the name of the recipient to a nonprofit organization of the winner’s choice. Simpson chose F.U.E.L. Ministries.

In addition to her volunteer work with F.U.E.L., Carolyn is a member of the Austin Peay State University Foundation’s board of trustees. She’s also a United Way past-president and current nominating committee member; a board member for Aspire Clarksville; and a member of the Network, a professional women’s group.

When she’s not donating her time, talent or treasure to community causes, you’ll find Carolyn planning a weekly family night of food, fun and games with her husband, children and grandchildren.

You may also find her on a run with a group of girlfriends. They log approximately 50 miles a month and will participate in five half-marathons this year.

Or you might find her traveling the globe with another group of friends. “We call ourselves the ‘Twisted Sisters’,” Carolyn says. For the past forty years, we have taken a girls’ trip to a different city each year.”