When I was 8 years old I walked into a Dunkin Donuts shop with my mom. We were ordering jelly doughnuts for a holiday when I spotted a pink doughnut. Pink being my favorite color, I knew I had to have it. On my way home enjoying the delicious pink doughnut, I began to think to myself “everybody loves doughnuts why don’t they use them to raise money for a good cause?” That’s when I spotted a pink breast cancer license plate and thought to myself “pink license plate, pink doughnut!” That’s what they can raise money for! Breast cancer! And I began to wonder why I should wait for someone else to do it? What about me? So when my mother and I got home we went online and found the Susan G. Komen(www.komen.org) race for the cure and contacted them. Within a couple of weeks they set up the Friends Asking Friends Program where I could make a team page and raise money and that is where the Love Lexi fund was created. The support from my friends and family was tremendous everyone was so supportive. I am now 15 years old and I have been raising money for seven years now, wow seven, I can’t believe it! It sounds so much longer than it felt.
These last years have been a blast! I have gotten to meet the most amazing people and have touched the lives of so many. I remember receiving my first donation, even though it was from my nana, the feeling I had was absolutely amazing. I felt so good because I knew that was the start to helping others. I even received a letter from a woman all the way in Indiana. She told me how much all I was doing meant to her, because she herself had breast cancer and seeing what I was doing gave her the will to fight for her life. That letter really touched my heart and gave me even more motivation to continue to raise money to fight this terrible disease. And so to date, I have raised over $50,000.
Recently, I earned the title of the Miss Teen Florida Plus America 2012. I honestly believe it was the work I’ve been doing with the Komen Race for the Cure and my Art Can Heal project that gave me the confidence to do it. And I can truly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I met the most amazingly smart, strong, and inspirational women who are doing incredible things for their communities. Not only did it give me a huge boost of self confidence, but gave me a platform to talk about the fight for a cure for breast cancer.
As silly as it sounds, a pink doughnut was my inspiration, but inspiration can be found everywhere. It’s not what inspires you, but what you do with that inspiration. I chose to raise money; however, time is just as important. Lots of organizations need volunteers just as much as they need money. All in all, to anyone thinking they can’t make a difference or its too hard, please know people can be more willing than you think to help and that anything you are truly passionate about you can do.
Lexi was named Florida’s top High School volunteer and honored in Washington, D.C. in May with a Prudential Spirit of Community Service Award. Of more than 28,000 nominations, one high school and one middle school student from each state were selected. This prestigious award is given by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Prudential (www.spirit.prudential. com). Lexi andthe other 101 honorees were officially recognized at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural Historyand received $1,000. According to Lexi “it was three incredible days of VIP events I will remember the rest ofmy life. It was like the Academy Awards for kids doing great things and each person I met was as inspiring asthe next! I’m just grateful to be counted among them!”