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State Honoree

Allan Peetz

Indiana

created a youth service program matching teens who volunteer at a local homeless shelter with community businesses who sponsor each youth worker with a set, hourly fee -- donated to the shelter. Inspired by his own volunteer experience with infants at the shelter, Allan developed a teen service program called “The Project” that would help solve the shelter’s need for both volunteer assistance and funding. “I was there everyday, doing my job, doing what I was told, but I wasn’t doing all I could,” he explained. After obtaining permission from his school administrators, Allan presented “The Project” concept to his school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Armed with a long list of volunteers, he started contacting local merchants and businesses in his community for support. Within a few short weeks Allan’s volunteers were at work, and their “paychecks” were helping the shelter buy food, clothing and basic toiletries for needy people. “This project has unified an entire community and continues to do so,” Allan stated. “It is centered around people, so as a participant, it is impossible to be involved without developing and discovering one’s own self.”