Hillary Hughes, a member of the Girl Scouts Swift Water Council and a fifth-grader at Peter Woodbury School, founded a nonprofit foundation that has collected more than $15,000 worth of personal-care products and other items to send to needy families around the world.
“The motivation for my project began at the age of 6, when I realized many children couldn’t afford art and school supplies,” Hillary said, “Seeing others with nothing makes you want to give everything you can to them.”
Hillary started by making kits of school supplies for needy children in her community, and later collected 50 pounds of quilts to send to families in Chile. She then began assembling “humanitarian kits” for victims of natural disasters.
When the 2004 tsunami devastated portions of Southeast Asia, Hillary and her volunteers assembled and shipped 900 kits containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, towels, soap, and combs—plus 100 stuffed animals—to victims. More than 250 additional kits went to hurricane victims last year.
200 School Kits were delivered to New Hampshire youth, as well as 85 Hygiene Kits to Indonesian earthquake victims in 2006. To accomplish this, Hillary recruited other teen and adult volunteers, set up donation boxes and centers, and solicited contributions from individuals, businesses, and community groups. She plans on continuing this service because there will always be the need.