Twin Falls teen and his alpaca bring joy to the community

TWIN FALLS — Sprite the alpaca is known for riding in the back seat of Drew Moffitt’s white Toyota Matrix, but the two are notable for bringing comfort and joy to students and senior citizens throughout Twin Falls.

“When people see me driving, they’re completely caught off guard and stare,” said the Twin Falls High School senior.

Since getting certified as a therapy handler team last year, Drew and Sprite are inseparable. They travel to Twin Falls schools, senior centers and the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind. They have completed more than 40 hours of community service, providing attention and affection.

“It’s not every day you see an alpaca in my classroom,” said Abbe Frantz, a special education teacher at O’Leary Middle School. “Watching my students interact and be positive while visiting with Sprite was a special moment. Drew is really doing good for others.”

This is Drew’s senior project, which earned national recognition for volunteer work. Drew is a recipient of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring teens for their volunteerism. Twin Falls High School’s staff nominated Drew.

“I was shocked and very honored that I received this award,” Drew said. “Taking Sprite around makes me appreciate the blessings that I’ve been given. I enjoy making people smile.”

Drew wanted to work on a unique senior project and something he would enjoy. He connected two things that he loves — volunteer work and alpacas. For most of his life, he has been raised with alpacas and llamas on his parents’ four-acre property.

Sprite stood out to him — soft, fluffy, gentle and calm. The two share a special bond.

“Our bond is entirely a trusting bond,” Drew said. “Sprite trusts me to keep her safe in every way.”

Volunteerism has been a natural part of Drew’s life. Throughout high school he has completed 206 community service hours, including 95 hours this school year. His passion for giving back started when he lived in Germany with his family. His dad, an army veteran, was stationed in Germany when Drew was 5. The family lived there for four years.

“When I lived in Germany I learned to get outside of myself and see the broader perspective of what life is,” Drew said. “I became an outgoing person.”

His parents taught him the power of service. Drew volunteers at the College of Southern Idaho’s Refugee Center, a soup kitchen and the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce.

“Drew is a compassionate person and cares about people,” said Rena Garibyan, an ESL instructor at the Refugee Center. “He will be very successful in life.”

Drew owns a 3.98 grade-point average and plans to attend Brigham Young University and study biology with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.

Fun facts about Drew Moffitt

  • Favorite drink? Sprite
  • Favorite sport to watch? Basketball and volleyball
  • What are the first three songs on your current music playlist? “Mercy” by Shawn Mendez, “A Drop in the Ocean” by Ron Pope and “Play that Song” by Train
  • You just got a free plane ticket to go anywhere. Where are you going? Santos, Brazil 
  • Three things you can’t live without? People, warm weather and Google 
  • Favorite emoji 

Andrew Reed

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