PINEVILLE – While visiting his 1-year-old brother in the hospital eight years ago, Alexander Fultz 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.
He later established a nonprofit, 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; and formed partnerships with local businesses.
He has also provided, at minimum, an outfit, a blanket, multiple books, a toy and a handmade cap to every infant in the neonatal intensive care units of several hospitals.
Over time, he has donated thousands of toys and clothing items to hospitals in several states. And his deeds have not gone unnoticed.
Alexander, an eighth-grader at Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, was recently named one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers of 2019 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. More than 29,000 youth were considered for the honor.
He received $5,000, an engraved gold medallion, a crystal trophy for his school, and a $5,000 grant from The Prudential Foundation for a charity of his choice.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a national youth recognition program sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
“These students have not only done important work in support of people in need – they’ve also shown their peers that young people can, and do, create meaningful change,” said Christine Handy, president of NASSP.