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State Honoree

Carson Cox

South Carolina

Carson Cox, 13, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., an eighth-grader at Myrtle Beach Middle School, spearheaded the remodeling and refurbishing of an outdated kitchen at a preschool for disadvantaged children. Carson got the idea for his project while volunteering with his mother and her church group at the Friendship House Preschool. "I helped out one day and saw how much the kitchen was in need of repair and remodeling," he said. "I felt it was very important to ensure a clean and healthy environment for the children, staff and volunteers of Friendship House."

Carson developed a master plan and made a list of potential contributors and volunteers, then wrote letters and visited local businesses to solicit help with his project. Carson and his volunteers installed a new custom island, cleaned cabinets and countertops, painted walls, fixed the stove, waxed the floor, and completed the renovation in just two weeks over Christmas vacation. When they were finished, Carson purchased a new microwave, pots, pans and utensils for the new kitchen. "My goal was far exceeded with the help of so many people," Carson said. "The good that you do for others will come back to you tenfold later in your life if you give from your heart."