Raymond Mohler, an eighth-grader at , was recently selected as a state honoree in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, which honors the top high school and middle school youth volunteers around the country.
Every year, the top high school and middle level youth volunteers in each state and the District of Columbia are selected as State Honorees. Each receives a $1,000 award, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for several days of national recognition events, according to Prudential.
Mohler and his family founded the Little Saint Nick Foundation in 2003 when he was only five years old. He experienced his own medical challenges when he was diagnosed with a rare hip disease at the age of four, but said he felt that he was blessed and decided to give back to the sick children at the hospital who were not as fortunate to be coming home.
Mohler and his family have donated over $250,000 worth of toys and entertainment centers to various hospitals, and Raymond regularly leaves gift bags for sick children when he visits them in hospitals.
"Raymond has created a foundation to help alleviate the pain, fear and anxiety felt by young hospital patients by providing toys and other gifts, arranging celebrity visits and assembling mobile entertainment centers," the website says.
The other state honoree from New York was Christopher Yao, 15, a sophomore at Jericho High School, who developed an annual "read-a-thon" that has paid for 60 cleft-lip surgeries in developing countries.
For more info on the Little Saint Nick Foundation, visit their website.