Archive for Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Teen lends helping hand

October 1, 2003

Once again, a Tonganoxie teen known for her philanthropic work is on the go.

Lacey Sturgis, a THS sophomore, is collecting coats, blankets and other winter clothing for the homeless.

A year ago, the teen's efforts resulted in 111 coats being distributed through the Kansas City Project Warmth.

So far this year, she's up to about one-third of that, thanks to one friend.

"One of my friends from school told me that his grandmother passed away and he would bring her coats over," Lacey said. "I thought maybe they'd have five or so. He brought over 36 and told me he had found some more, so I'm off to a good start."

The donated items will be distributed in the greater Kansas City area, including Leavenworth County, Lacey said.

Lacey, who has a long blond ponytail and a quick smile, said she thinks she'll end up with more coats this year.

"I've expanded," she said. "I'm not just looking for stuff in Tonganoxie -- I've gone to other cities."

The work is a family affair, with her parents, John and Melissa Sturgis collecting coats and blankets at their workplaces, and with younger brother Hunter, 7, helping count and bag the coats.

In April, Lacey was nominated for a regional honor because of her work.

Not only has she collected coats, but she's also volunteered with Harvesters food program, the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, and Sunflower House, which she described as a child abuse prevention center.

Her junior high principal, Steve Woolf, submitted Lacey's name for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

The Prudential recognizes middle and high school students for outstanding volunteer services to their communities.

A typical teen who likes to play and watch sports and listen to music, Lacey said it just makes her feel good to do volunteer work.

"I'm pretty fortunate in my life," Lacey said. "There are some people that aren't."

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