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State Honoree

Daniel Cayce

Arkansas

Daniel Cayce, 15, of Thornton, Ark., a member of the Cooperative Extension Service 4-H of Hampton and a freshman at Bearden High School in Bearden, collected and distributed blankets and cooking utensils to help more than a thousand needy individuals in southern Arkansas make it through the winter. “I was raised to help the poor and needy,” Daniel said. “I have always received motivation from my family to help those less fortunate.” During the cold winter of 2000, Daniel collected almost 300 blankets – but they weren’t enough to supply the long line at his first giveaway. Daniel set a goal of 1,000 blankets for the next winter, and decided to collect cooking utensils, as well. “I thought it would be nice if the elderly and sick had a new pot to cook soup or something hot in during the winter,” he said. After months of writing letters, speaking to church groups, and purchasing blankets and utensils with donated funds, Daniel organized his giveaway to coincide with his mother and grandmother’s Thanksgiving food giveaway. Over 1,200 blankets, 1,500 pots and pans and about 400 sets of dishes were given away that day. “Sometimes all it takes to make a difference in someone’s life is a blanket, or a nice pot or pan or a new set of dishes,” Daniel said. “Something they need, or can’t buy for themselves.”