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State Honoree

Whitney Prose

Ohio

Whitney Prose, 15, of Sunbury, Ohio, a member of the Delaware County 4-H in Delaware and a home-schooled student, spearheaded a book drive that yielded more than 6,000 books and other items for a library in West Virginia that had been devastated by a flood. Whitney, whose family originally came from West Virginia, had a desire to help kids in the Appalachian Mountains. So when she read a newspaper story about a flooded library in Welch, W.Va., she knew her opportunity had arrived. “I love to read,” said Whitney. “I felt awful that these people had lost their library.” She contacted the McDowell Public Library and learned that without state aid or flood insurance, the library would have to rely completely on donations to replace lost items. With help from her parents and local librarians, Whitney began soliciting boxes from businesses and placed them at drop-off points in three counties. She promoted her campaign through local newspapers and emptied the collection boxes every two days. In the end, Whitney delivered more than 6,000 books, cassette tapes, videos and toys to the library. “It’s a neat feeling to know that the books my community gave will be checked out, read and loved for years to come,” said Whitney.