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State Honoree

Leslie Coggins


Leslie Coggins, 12, of Phenix City Middle School in Phenix City, Alabama, initiated a project to make burial gowns for the families of premature infants, to ease the families' pain. "The family has enough to think about as they grieve without being faced with the realization that there is nothing tiny enough to bury their little one in," said Leslie. Leslie secured fabric donations, cut out patterns, and since she never learned to sew herself, she mobilized fellow students, relatives and interested adults to help sew the burial gowns. The gowns are then delivered to local hospitals where nurses provide them to grieving parents. "Every time I look at a 20-ounce drink bottle, I think about the little babies who are just that size for whom I've provided an outfit," Leslie explained. "Even though I may never talk to the families, I believe that they are encouraged by the fact that there are people who really care about them."