The Hancock County Community Foundation Board of Directors recently named Abby Poole, a junior at New Palestine High School, the 2013 Martha Beckenholdt Youth Philanthropy Award recipient. The award was established in 1996 to honor one of Hancock County’s most committed philanthropists, Martha Beckenholdt. The award is given annually to a junior from one of the four Hancock County public high schools who exhibits Martha’s qualities…outstanding contributions of time, talent, and energy to philanthropic endeavors. A grant in the recipient’s name is donated by the Community Foundation to a charity of the student’s choice. In honor of Abby’s award, the New Palestine High School Gardening Club received a $500 grant.
Abby dedicates several hours of her time to serving different local nonprofits and is an active member of her school community where she is accomplished in both golf and tennis. One of Abby’s greatest passions lies within her school’s gardening club, which she founded at New Palestine High School. Abby was first introduced to the needs of the Hope House through her membership on the Hope House Youth Board, and at the same time, she was enrolled in a nutrition and wellness class at NPHS. Mrs. Jones taught about organic gardening and the cost effective impact it can have in providing healthy food. As a result, Abby was inspired to start a gardening club at the high school called “Seeds of Greatness.” Last year, she and other club members started an organic garden in the school’s courtyard. The harvests from this garden directly provided food for the Hancock Hope House and NPHS food pantry.