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All-Star: Nicholas Cobb, Allen, Texas.

For his fifth Make A Difference Day, Nicholas Cobb, 16, and a dozen VFW and National Honor Society volunteers swooped in with $800 worth of donated Home Depot supplies to spruce up the home of Claudette Allen, 68.

Feb. 21, 2013   |  
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In Allen, Texas, Nicholas Cobb (left), recruited volunteers and $800 worth of donated Home Depot supplies to rejuvenate the home of local senior citizen.
In Allen, Texas, Nicholas Cobb (left), recruited volunteers and $800 worth of donated Home Depot supplies to rejuvenate the home of local senior citizen.
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At age 4, Nicholas Cobb saw a family living in boxes under a bridge. That image changed his life. He’s now 16 and recalls: “I had to do something about it.” He’s been doing something ever since. Nicholas won a National Make A Difference Day Award in 2011 for collecting donations and buying and delivering new coats for 54 abused kids living in a shelter.

Last October, he amped up his Make A Difference Day coat distribution to the homeless (more than 500 coats to date), to include helping a senior in nearby McKinney, whose unkempt yard desperately needed attention. “The city was threatening fines,” says Claudette Allen, 68. “I live on Social Security and can’t do what I used to.”

On Make A Difference Day, Nicholas and a dozen VFW and National Honor Society volunteers swooped in with $800 worth of donated Home Depot supplies. They installed a screen door, chopped down trees, planted flowers and hauled off debris — making such a difference, Allen says, that “if I hadn’t been there, I don’t think I could have found my house.”

After Allen’s home repairs were wrapped up, Nicholas delivered 147 new and gently used coats to Allen Community Outreach, continuing his Make A Difference Day mission to bring warmth to the homeless: “I never want anyone to be cold,” he says.

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Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of helping others, is sponsored annually by USA WEEKEND Magazine and its 800 carrier newspapers. Make A Difference Day takes place on the 4th Saturday in October each year.