Charles Carter, 14, of Elgin, Okla., an eighth-grader at Elgin Middle School, is an energetic and dedicated volunteer who has worked with friends, family members and schoolmates on numerous projects to make life better for others. Charles learned the value of volunteering early from his family, including his older sister. “I saw how happy she was when she and her friends would donate items to various causes,” he said. “I wanted that feeling.”
Initially, Charles helped his mother build therapeutic tricycles for kids and veterans with disabilities, along with ramps at their homes to ease access. Later, he became very active in a school program that grants wishes for deserving individuals, helping out at fundraising events, speaking at meetings and luncheons, soliciting donations, and shopping for wish-list items. As president of his National Junior Honor Society chapter, Charles collected more than 10,000 canned food items and delivered them to a food bank, and as president of his middle school student council, he organized a winter clothing drive that collected more than 200 pieces of clothing for families in need. Charles also volunteers as a performer for a local community theater.