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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Carlie Steele

Carlie Steele

Amity, Oregon

Carlie Steele, 12, of Amity, Ore., a seventh-grader at Amity Middle School, undertook three community service projects to make the world a better place through what she calls her “Carlie’s Kindness Campaign.” Three years ago, Carlie and her parents were watching a telethon for the Children’s Cancer Association. “Hearing the stories of kids my age fighting cancer made me really sad,” Carlie said. “I thought that having something fun to play with would make their days a little happier.”

She decided to conduct a toy drive. With her mother’s help, Carlie set up a Facebook page to announce her effort and was amazed when people from all over the country donated toys, games and even money. Her drive yielded more than $2,000 worth of toys and games for children undergoing chemotherapy. Later that year, Carlie collected enough Christmas cards, toiletry items, card games and DVDs to send 18 large boxes to troops serving abroad. Her most recent project came about when she heard children with disabilities being called derogatory names. Even though she was “so nervous,” Carlie organized student assemblies at her school and her town’s high school to promote respect for others. She also sold T-shirts that carried her message, and asked students to sign banners pledging not to use the word “retarded.”