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CHS grad to collect, deliver supplies to tornado-torn Joplin

Posted: June 18, 2011 8:35 p.m.
Updated: June 20, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Ashleigh Hough is not your typical high school graduate. Even though she just graduated from Camden High School in May and will attend Clemson University this fall, Hough has plans to travel to Joplin, Mo., June 26 to bring supplies to victims affected by May’s deadly tornadoes.

Hough said the idea for the Missouri trip came after she talked with her father about other deadly storms that struck Alabama in April.

“We just sat down and thought about what if that happened here. We wouldn’t exactly know what to do. You can lose everything in a matter of minutes,” Hough said.

She originally planned to go on a mission trip to Africa this summer, but those plans changed.

“I wanted to go to Kenya, but with going to college this year, it was kind of hard and I didn’t know if I was quite ready for that,” said Hough. “Then this happened in Missouri and we said we wanted to go. My father and I decided that we were just going to take a road trip, just something on the spur of the moment.”

Word of Hough’s efforts spread after a status update by Facebook friend Johnny Deal.

“I asked him to post a status for me and some of his friends commented on it and I’ve met with some of those people in town to pick up supplies. Pretty much anybody who gets in touch with me in any way can help out,” she said.

Hough said she has already collected a few items from people in the community.

“We have some clothes for children and adults. We also have a lot of bottles of water. We’re also taking some non-perishable food items. Hopefully we’ll get some diapers or maybe some baby food because there are children there as well,” Hough said.

This isn’t the first time she has performed charity work. Last summer, Hough volunteered at the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County.

While Hough notes that her family is blessed to have financial stability, she still wants to make a difference in people’s lives.

“We take things for granted sometimes, and if everything was gone tomorrow then I’m not really sure if I would know what to do. I want the people in Missouri to realize that people really do care. If something like that were to happen to me I would want someone to help,” she said.

Hough has also been a life guard at the Kershaw County Aquatic Center for three years.

“This is my town and my community. Some people say that when they graduate from college that they’re never coming back to their hometown, but I want to come back here,” Hough said. “This is where my heart is and this where I grew up.”

Hough will study bio-medical engineering at Clemson and said she would like to make prosthetics for people or become a geneticist after college.

“I want to make a difference. In a room of nobody who cares, I want to be the one who cares.”

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