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State Honoree

Lindsay Janik

New York

Lindsay Janik, 13, of Lockport, N.Y., an eighth-grader at DeSales Catholic School, created the “Chain of Love,” a paper-link chain that raised nearly $800 to benefit a local family in need. A teenage boy in this family was dealing with both his grandfather’s and father’s tragic deaths when his mother also fell ill. “I realized that these people needed love, and they needed to know that there were people trying to help them,” Lindsay said. She first spoke to her principal to get approval for the “Chain of Love.” She then prepared each link from construction paper and sold them throughout the school for $1, encouraging donors to draw a picture or write a message of support on each link. When Lindsay’s chain was complete, it had nearly 400 links. Lindsay was thrilled to learn that her project sparked additional fundraising that matched the funds she had raised, so in the end, the family received $792 as well as the chain. “I will never forget how thankful they were,” she said. “I learned that when you give, you get back a lot more.” Lindsay wants her project to become an annual tradition at her school, and is already planning another fundraiser to benefit a local domestic violence shelter.