Wendy Bird, founder of Pearls with a Purpose, is this year's recipient of the Sierra West Utah Woman Making a Difference Award, presented by Utah's Junior Miss State Committee.

Bird, whose organization collects and sends humanitarian aid to remote Filipino villages, will be recognized for her efforts at Utah's Junior Miss board of directors' dinner Monday at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and again Saturday, March 5, at Juan Diego High School in Draper.

A mother of five, Bird first heard of the villagers' needs when acquiring pearls for her home jewelry business. Today her garage is filled with donations from businesses and individuals all over America, benefiting as many as 300 families each month. As of this year, Bird has distributed more than 15,000 pounds of goods.