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State Honoree

Elizabeth Williams

Maine

Elizabeth Williams, 13, of Hampden, Maine, an eighth-grader at Reeds Brook Middle School, volunteers at a soup kitchen in nearby Bangor. Inspired by the volunteer efforts of her grandparents, Beth agreed to accompany her grandmother to her monthly soup kitchen assignment. “I’ve done this ever since I was 8 years old. My grandparents and I do it together. I enjoy it because I know that I am helping other people out.” Once a month, Beth helps make two trays of biscuits, counts bowls, sets tables and puts chairs in place before the meal begins. After serving 70 to 150 people, the volunteer crew washes dishes and trays, wipes tables, stacks chairs and sweeps. It’s not the easiest job, but Beth believes the benefits are worth the hard work. “I’m still the youngest person working there, but it makes no difference,” she said. “By helping out the needy, I can fill a little spot inside of me.”