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State Honoree

Landon Buie

Utah

Landon Buie, 18, of Taylorsville, Utah, a senior at Taylorsville High School, initiated a statewide student volunteer project that collected food, clothing and other donations valued at more than $200,000 to help homeless people. Concerned by the indifference of fellow students to people in need, Landon decided he wanted to do something that would both aid the disadvantaged and encourage a sense of caring among other young people. He conceived a project that would coincide with the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and involve students across his state. He contacted student body presidents at schools all over Utah, asking them to join a friendly competition to see which school could collect the most money, clothes and food. He then prepared instructional packets for participating schools, and conducted a publicity campaign. After two years of planning, Utah schools spent the 2½ weeks of the Olympic games building “a mountain of food,” said Landon. In total, more than $200,000 worth of food, clothing, and money was collected for needy people in Utah and around the world. Landon reports that many schools have plans to repeat and enlarge his project for years to come. “Compassion for service was one of the main goals for this project,” he said. “We exceeded our expectations in every way, but it is only the beginning for our goals for the future.”