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State Honoree

Matthew Waldman

Delaware

Matthew Waldman, 14, of Delmar, Del., an eighth-grader at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Salisbury, Md., organized and participated in a variety of volunteer activities benefiting his school, community, the Salvation Army and the Humane Society. "I believe in serving my community, looking at the global picture and helping those who are reaching out for help and who are in need," Matthew said. Instead of celebrating his last two birthdays with parties and presents, Matthew organized and hosted a student dance, asking attendees to donate food and care items for lost, abandoned and neglected animals residing at a local Humane Society shelter. "I felt it was important because the animals are helpless," he said. Matthew also worked an entire weekend serving food at a charity antique show, solicited donations as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, purchased Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children, and participated in the Humane Society's annual fund-raising walk. "I learned that there is so much in this world that is so wrong and we all need to help each other," he said. "You have a say in what happens in this world. You can either help it or hurt it. Don't be afraid to go out there and help others."