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State Honoree

Alex Hill

Michigan

Alex Hill, 15, of Grand Blanc, Mich., a sophomore at Powers Catholic High School in Flint, raised nearly $67,000 to provide an ambulance and medical supplies to a health center in Uganda that serves 140,000 people living in 62 villages. Three summers ago, when a Ugandan priest visited his parish, Alex learned about people in the East African nation who have very little medical care, and was told that many die simply due to lack of transportation. Alex decided that buying an ambulance for the health center in Father Joseph Birungi’s community would provide the greatest benefit. “Providing an ambulance will help save lives by making medical transportation available and allowing nurses to travel to villages for immunizations and health education,” he said. After many hours of research, Alex developed a plan to ask groups and individuals to “host” life-sized photographic “cut-outs” of Father Joseph, along with suitcases filled with pictures, a video, and binders of printed information about the Ugandan health center and ambulance project. He produced four complete displays, and then promoted his idea by speaking at civic, school and church events. “When someone signed up to host a cutout for the day, they took ‘Fr. Joseph’ to their home, school, business, meeting or special event, watched the video, read the information and then made a donation to the ambulance fund and a medical supply donation for the health center,” Alex explained. Hundreds of individuals, families, businesses and organizations participated.