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State Honoree

Shannon Stancil

North Carolina

Shannon Stancil, 17, of Garner, N.C., a junior at Garner Senior High School, created “Operation Jean Teens,” a community-wide program that solicits donations of new and gently used stylish clothing and sports equipment for adolescent patients at a local mental hospital. Shannon decided to organize a clothing drive when she saw the outdated, unattractive outfits available to teen patients. “I knew that if teens had clothes that fit them and actually made them look their age, they would have a better chance of getting better,” she said. After obtaining permission from hospital staff, Shannon created a flyer (shaped like a tee shirt) to explain her idea. Next, she met with scouting and other youth groups to explain “Operation Jean Teens,” setting pickup times and organizing other volunteers to clean, fold and separate donations. She also persuaded a local furniture maker to contribute cabinets and bins for a clothes closet at the hospital to display all of the items she’d collected. “I will continue to do drop-offs as long as I have clothes,” Shannon said. “When I have nice clothes, I have a good attitude and look forward to the day. I wanted to try and give the patients this feeling.”