Young student devotes time to those in need

Hardy Freeman, 12, poses for the camera next to his collection of toothpaste that was donated to the SCV Food Pantry in Newhall on Wednesday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

Most seventh graders love playing with Legos, computers and video games. But for one seventh grader, that’s not all he loves to do.

Twelve-year-old Hardy Freeman from La Mesa Junior High School loves video games, but he understands there is more important stuff in life.

“I know that there are people out there that have it worse than me, and I don’t want that,” Freeman said.

Freeman was invited to The National Honor Society because of his good grades. There is a 10-hour community service requirement that goes along with being in the honor society.

So Freeman decided to help collect things for the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to collect.

“When we spoke to the director of the food pantry, she said that not a lot of toothpaste or toiletries are donated,” said Portlyn Polston, the mother of Freeman.

A box of Crest toothpaste collected by Hardy Freeman and his mother Portlyn Polston sits at the SCV Food Pantry in Newhall on Saturday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

At that point, Freeman decided that he wanted to collect toothpaste for the food pantry.

“We set up a GoFundMe page, and received donations from friends and family all over the country that totaled close to $350,” Polston said. “We used that money to buy tubes of toothpaste.”

Monetary donations weren’t the only things Freeman received. Adventure Dental, located in Santa Clarita, donated close to 275 tubes of toothpaste.

“All together we were able to donate 584 tubes of toothpaste,” Polston said.

All of this hard work took close to 20 hours to accomplish—from getting all the money donated and purchasing the toothpaste to delivering it to the food pantry.

“It says a lot that kids are helping donate goods for people in need, because it shows them how lucky they are to have what they have,” said Karla Colindres, the office manager of the food pantry.

Freeman missed the deadline to get into the honor society, but that didn’t stop him from continuing his hard work to get toothpaste donated to those who are in need of it.

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