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State Honoree

Ashleigh Crowe

Massachusetts

Ashleigh Crowe, 15, of Upton, Mass., a ninth-grader at the Fay School in Southborough, initiated an annual drive to collect sneakers and dental hygiene products for children living in a Dominican Republic mission. Ashleigh began her project after hearing about a friend’s visit to the mission, and seeing pictures of a girl with no shoes. “I felt guilty for the many pairs of shoes I owned,” said Ashleigh. In the project’s first year, Ashleigh made a few school announcements and asked fellow students to donate new or used sneakers, and she collected more than 200 pairs. The following year, Ashleigh boosted her promotional efforts and decided to also solicit donations of dental hygiene products. She contacted local businesses and dentists and placed collection boxes at school. That drive yielded another 200 pairs of sneakers, 350 toothbrushes and 300 tubes of toothpaste. Ashleigh then was able to personally deliver the donations to the children at the mission, where she learned that “the things we take for granted are things that these people truly cherish.”