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Updated: Friday, 28 Dec 2012, 11:40 AM CST
Published : Wednesday, 26 Dec 2012, 3:28 PM CST
In 2012, FOX 11 started a new series of reports called, Making a Difference. The goal was to find people, places and programs that are changing the lives of others for the better. Here is a look back at some of those stories.
Just months before dying of a heart condition, 16-year-old Emily Phillip of Oshkosh was able to fulfill her dreams of bagging a buck.
In the fall of 2012, Phillip went on a hunting excursion with the Take 'Em Outdoors organization, which gives sick children the chance to hunt.
"It kind of lets those families forget a little bit about what they're going through and just enjoy the moment," said Shad Loch, the founder of Take 'Em Outdoors.
Phillip passed away just five days before Christmas Eve this year. Her spirit is alive however, in the photo that shows the 10-point buck she bagged while on her hunting trip.
In Appleton, the Xavier High School football team made a difference for kids, too. It hosted a Day Camp For Kids With Autism in September.
"You get to give back to your community, you're with your team and it makes you feel special to be out here," said Ben Jensen, a senior varsity player.
For others, there were different issues to tackle in 2012.
Shane Todd of Kewaunee smoked cigarettes for decades before doctors found cancer in his neck. He now has a hole -- known as a stoma -- in his neck to help him breathe. He decided to take part in a national, anti-smoking campaign and participated in advertisements that reveal the real-life consequences of smoking.
"If I've done anything just to help one person, it's worth it," said Todd. "It's worth what I've been through."
There were also stories of entire communities making a difference in 2012.
In Center Valley, residents raised more than $80,000 to help restore an original, one-room school house. Teachers now use it as a field trip destination to give today's students a lesson in history.
In Green Bay, we found more stories of helping in helping those in need.
The charity, Ben's Wish provides students from low-income families backpacks full of healthy food.
Becky Delain is the mother of Ben Delain, who the organization is named after. She described to us a conversation she had with one of the children who receive a backpack through the organization:
"I had one child tell me, 'I really liked that piece of fruit. We never get fruit at home.'"
"That is just mind-boggling to me," said Delain.
Do you have an idea for a Making a Difference story in 2013? Email us at email@example.com.