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State Honoree

Brett White

West Virginia

Brett White, 18, of Frametown, W.Va., a senior at Braxton County High School in Sutton, initiated a statewide food drive to benefit the hungry across West Virginia. Brett, who had been involved in his local food drive, thought that a larger effort would make a bigger difference. “I thought to myself that there had to be a better way to help more people at a broader range than our small community,” Brett said. He also wanted to give other young people the opportunity to volunteer, so he created the West Virginia Youth Service Initiative, from which the statewide food drive was born. Once his idea was fleshed out on paper, Brett met with the Governor, who proclaimed October 16 – 30 West Virginia’s Statewide Food Drive. Then, Brett wrote letters to all 814 schools in the state asking for their support, and he worked with each participating school on their drives and drop-off plans. He contacted local businesses for financial support, and sent press releases to more than 300 media outlets to promote the program. In the end, Brett collected 28,652 cans of food for the hungry of West Virginia. He plans to coordinate the drive again next year – and involve colleges and universities next time.