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State Honoree

Austin Newman

South Carolina

Austin Newman, 12, of Columbia, S.C., a sixth-grader at Crayton Middle School, started a community service club when she was in third grade that has undertaken a variety of volunteer projects. “I realized that I have so much and some people aren’t as fortunate as I am, so I decided to give back to the community,” said Austin. Initially, she recruited a small group of friends to join her club and planned a variety of fund-raising activities to help offset the costs of the projects her club undertook. She sponsored yard sales, and sold homemade stationery and greeting cards to raise more than $400. Then, Austin and her friends donated needed supplies to kids in the local Ronald McDonald House, sent toothbrushes, toothpaste and crayons to poor Haitian children, made a small donation to a local animal shelter, and cleaned up a neighborhood lake. She even made a donation to help free slaves in Sudan. Now, Austin hopes to recruit more volunteers to join the club so she can make even more of a difference.