Cinnamon Named 2013 Iowa Top Youth Volunteer

Valley High School senior Katelyn Cinnamon was named one of Iowa’s top youth volunteers of 2013 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Katelyn has raised thousands of dollars to purchase iPads for each exam room at the Blank Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic, and to send young cancer patients to a weeklong camp through the Children’s Cancer Connection. While volunteering to work on craft projects with kids at the clinic, she was so impressed with their bravery and resilience that she wanted to do more for them.

“They are some of the strongest, bravest, happiest kids I know,” Katelyn said. “They deserve to have something to look forward to.”

She set a goal of raising $10,000 to buy six iPads for the clinic and to pay for kids to attend an annual oncology camp where they can enjoy typical camp activities and spend time with others experiencing the same emotions as they are. Katelyn also wants to equip campers with their own backpack filled with camp supplies. She also collects fleece tie blankets for the Children’s Cancer Connection.

To accomplish her mission, Katelyn recruited a friend to help and has networked with businesses and organizations throughout the community. So far, she has reached almost half of her fundraising goal and has already delivered the iPads to clinic.

As a State Honoree, Katelyn will travel to Washington, D.C., in early May to join the top honorees from each state for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2013.