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'People of the Year' Spotlight: Teenager Makes Giving Back a Way of Life

At 13, Madison Gregg tries to help others less fortunate.

Not many teenagers are even thinking about ways to give back. 

For 13-year-old Madison Gregg, it's something she's been doing in an organized fashion since she hit double digits.

For the past three years, Madison has hosted a benefit to make the holidays a little bit brighter for children.

The first year -- when she was 11 -- she organized a dinner and her friends were asked to bring food items to be donated to the .

At 12, she organized a party at the , where guests were asked to items for a child from "the giving tree." Her mother Tonya Gregg explained that there was a tag in the invitation with the information about what the child needed or wanted. Six children received some much needed gifts that year.

Now an eighth grade student at , Madison hosted "a pajama party" at the Talkhouse in December to benefit the Pajama Program, a national non-profit that provides pajamas and books to children in need. She collected 57 PJs and books.

Madison said she was touched that her friends supported her efforts. "It makes me feel really good that kids would actually go out and buy something to help not only me, but other kids," she said.

Madison said that while she doesn't come from the most wealthy of families, she realized at a young age that there are others who are less fortunate. "I kind of realized a lot of kids don't have as much as me, don't have families like me...they don't have the opportunities I have, so I wanted to do something for them," she said.

"I may not know one of them, but there are definitely kids in this community [in need]," she said.

Tonya said her daughter "goes above and beyond what is necessary or what is expected of a young girl."

Madison was recently selected to be inducted into the Junior National Honor Society, has been involved in the student association, helped work with Habitat for Humanity, donated gift boxes filled with personal necessities for senior citizens and has helped stock shelves and clean up at the food pantry. She is also an active member of the .

And she said she's been inspired by her mother, an attendance secretary at who volunteers an EMT with the . "My mom's always the one, if someone needs help she's there."

Looks like she's successfully following in her mother's footsteps.

Madison Gregg had been nominated for .

p brabant January 04, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Always love to hea that Kids like Madison open their hearts and eyes to the outside world outside of their own. Lets all learn from her
Dr. Sarah Alward January 04, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Madison, you are truly exceptional, and I hope your kind heart inspires other kids to get involved in helping others. Way to go!
Tara Mansir January 05, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Such an amazing young woman! I can't wait to see where she will go in life, so very proud to know her! xoxo
Annie Collins September 28, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Madison, I am very proud of you. May you continue on this path throughout your life, allowing God to bless so many others through you.

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