Alexander Wood has been thinking about children less fortunate than himself for a long time.

Alexander Wood has been thinking about children less fortunate than himself for a long time.

As a 5-year-old, he was already talking about how he could help children who were hungry in Haiti.

“I felt bad for those kids and wanted to give money to help them,“ said the fifth grader at Cedar Creek Elementary in Lee’s Summit. “I wanted to do something to help.”

Alexander has been recognized for his efforts as a state winner in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. He was selected as the 2010 top middle level youth volunteer in Missouri.

The program began in 1995 as a way to recognize youth volunteers in the United States. Local honorees are selected at participating schools and organizations. From those, the top middle level and high school volunteers are chosen in each state. Then, 10 national honorees are chosen and recognized at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C.

In addition to being named a state honoree, Alexander will be featured in a new television public service announcement that will be broadcast throughout the United States this fall. The PSA will promote youth volunteers and the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Alexander received the award for raising more than $3,000 during the past five years for hunger-related charities. To raise the money, he sold lemonade and baked goods that he made himself. He also organized food collection drives to help organizations such as the City Union Mission and meals on Wheels.

Among Alexander’s other accomplishments is starting his own baking business, Clean Hands Bakery. He sells baked goods through this online business, with all proceeds going to help provide livestock to those in need through Heifer International. Everything from banana walnut bread and triple chocolate chip cookies to super shortbread and molasses cookies can be purchased from his website, www.cleanhandsbakery.com.

“Each batch of cookies means one less hungry person at home and around the world,” he said.

For more information on the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, visit its website at spirit.prudential.com or at www.principals.org/spirit. Applications for the 2011 program must be completed by Nov. 1 and then submitted to a middle or high school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H agent, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or an affiliate of HandsOn Network.