State Honoree, National Honoree
Alexander Fultz, 13, of Pineville, North Carolina, an eighth-grader at Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, created a nonprofit organization that has donated thousands of toys and clothing items to hospitals in several states to brighten the days of hospitalized patients. While visiting his 1-year-old brother in the hospital eight years ago, Alexander was shocked to learn that most of the other kids there were too sick to go home for the holidays. “My favorite holiday was Christmas, so I thought of providing things to children in the hospital so they could have a happy Christmas,” he said.
In the beginning, he used his allowance and birthday money to buy a couple of toys and brought them to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. “Even though it was small at the time, I knew I had made a difference in a few children’s lives,” he said, “so I continued.” Over the following years, Alexander established a nonprofit organization called “Alexander’s Toy Trunk, Inc.” and began raising money to provide more and more gifts to young patients. He has set up stands to sell hot cocoa, cider, doughnuts, lemonade and cookies; spoken in front of classrooms to facilitate school collection drives; formed partnerships with local businesses; and solicited donations through social media and a website. Several years ago, Alexander began paying special attention to babies in neonatal intensive care units, which are often overlooked by donors. Since then, he has provided, at minimum, an outfit, a blanket, multiple books, a toy and a handmade cap to every infant in the NICUs of several hospitals.