Samantha Layton has accomplished much at an early age. Samantha was inspired by a friend and all the charitable work she has done. Samantha decided to also help out veterans, the environment, and others in her own creative ways. If this is a reflection of the youth, our future is bright.
That brightness shined around Christmas time in 2019 when Samantha, her sister, and her pageant sisters performed a couple of routines at the Ronald McDonald House. To let the kids know how loved they truly are, Samantha partnered with local churches and her dance studio to bring Valentine’s Day cards to the kids in the spring of 2020. This past Thanksgiving, she created packages that included blankets, socks, and personal care items for veterans.
At 16 years old, Samantha was named the 2020/2021 Miss Stars and Stripes Outstanding Teen. Her passion for veterans led her to create a virtual dance performance to raise funds for a local veterans chapter. She invited her fellow dancers from The Arts of the Dance Centre and her fellow Miss NJ pageant sisters to participate in this fundraiser. Samantha credits her recent title and newly found platform to the $500 raised. The funds benefitted the American Legion Post 82 in Millville.
In her free time, Samantha has volunteered at the Vineland Soup Kitchen to feed the homeless. Veterans praise Samantha for cleaning up the veteran’s parks and memorials. Her care and concern for the environment extend beyond having clean parks and memorials, including respect for animal wildlife and sea life. Samantha was inspired to make a difference after seeing social media posts about these creatures caught and tangled in plastic and litter. Samantha leads the way in her effort to donate biodegradable bags and containers to the Vineland Soup Kitchen.
For these reasons, New Jersey’s Heartland is proud to honor Samantha Layton of Vineland as their July 2021 Heartland Hero Winner.
While New Jersey’s Heartland is filled with hidden gems, its biggest treasures are the people who make the region a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. All Heartland Heroes receive a Heartland Heroes certificate and gift basket. To nominate your Heartland Hero, visit njheartland.org/live/heartland-heroes-nomination-form/.