Daily Point of Light # 2061 Dec 27, 2001

Although only 11 years old, Courtney Cox has accomplished extraordinary things. She was just about five years old when she first collected for a drive at church and has now logged more than 100 community service hours last year and nearly 40 hours this school year. She is also trying to surpass her own collection totals for the previous three years and has gathered more than 450 personal care items from hotels and thrift stores for use at homeless shelters so far this school year. Courtney displays her leadership, initiative and caring for the greater good through her participation in activities such as collecting toys and sporting goods for disaster victims, suitcases for foster children, supplies for animal shelters, adopting families and hosting parties at shelters for the holidays, performances for the elderly and helping to build a community playground.

Courtney’s selfless giving and energy sets her apart. Last summer, she volunteered more than 65 hours for a nonprofit agency that funds free or low cost mental health help for members of the community. Last October, Courtney learned the significance of pink ribbons and the importance of breast cancer awareness. She was amazed that a monthly self-exam and early detection could save women’s lives, yet not everyone performs them. Courtney decided she had to do something. She wrote to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and received a generous gift of materials to educate and raise awareness. She recruited volunteers she worked with over the summer and provided more than 150 women with awareness materials. Making our mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters and friends aware of the importance of self-examinations, may have saved a life.

Last November, inspired by the church’s appeal for food donations and to help alleviate hunger, Courtney sought and received permission from her school and church and organized two food drives. Both were successful and altogether collected an estimated 600 pounds of food. Enough to feed one meal to nearly 1,500 people.

Last winter, Courtney organized a drive to benefit the St. Jude’s Ranch for abused and neglected children while at the same time reducing the amount of waste to our landfills. One of the largest fundraisers for the Ranch is to recycle greeting cards into postcards and then sell them. When Courtney learned of this project, she organized a collection drive at her school and at several businesses. Through her efforts, approximately 7,500 cards were saved from landfills and St. Jude’s Ranch was able to raise more than $5,000. It is too early to know the final results of her 2001-2002 drive for the Ranch, but early donations are promising.

In response to the 09/11 terrorist attacks, Courtney made ribbons and distributed them at church seeking donations for the children of the victims of the disaster, raising $1,100 for the American Red Cross.