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"Every Basket We Prepare, Every Delivery We Make Gives Hope to a Family"

Hopkins with his mentor and Boys Town South Florida Development Director, Dr. Noemi Coltea.

Teen Volunteer ​Leads with Heart, Drive to Do More

Cardinal Newman High School junior Patrick Hopkins knows that to make an impact in the community, you have to get involved. This year, the 16 year old is Chair of Boys Town South Florida Thanksgiving Basket Brigade, an annual event that gives Thanksgiving food baskets to more than 300 underprivileged families.

Hopkins has seen first-hand the impact this event has on families in need in the West Palm Beach community. “I first became involved when I was in elementary school and we helped fill the baskets with food and delivered them to the homes of families in need,” explains Hopkins. “When I delivered the baskets, I could not believe how grateful families were to receive a meal and how that one meal made a difference in their lives. That was when I realized that I wanted to get involved in helping my community.”

As Hopkins has grown, so has his service to the community. He is an active member in the Palm Beach League of Cities youth delegation and he does volunteer work for the Literacy Coalition Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee. Even as he’s added activities to his already packed schedule, he never forgot about the joy he gave and felt when delivering Thanksgiving baskets.

“Every basket we prepare, every delivery we make gives hope to a family,” says Hopkins, whose goal is to increase the number of baskets delivered to families by 10 percent this year. Hopkins himself has been saving money from odd jobs he’s done throughout the year to ensure enough money is raised to reach this goal. “When I stop and think of all of the people in the world that need help, I feel overwhelmed. However, when I think that I was a small part of helping 300 families in my community, I feel blessed and am inspired to continue my involvement.”