WASHINGTON, D.C. — Midlothian teenager Kate McCasland walked into Rep. Joe Barton’s Washington office, shook the Congressman’s hand, flashed a smile and got right down to business.

The 16-year-old student at Midlothian High School was in the Nation’s Capitol to advocate for a charity near and dear to her heart – Save the Children.

McCasland was born premature and was able to thrive due to Kangaroo Mother Care, an intervention that Save the Children promotes in many developing countries to help reduce newborn deaths. She has since become very passionate about newborn health issues both in the U.S. and globally.

So when she was looking for a project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, McCasland decided to support Save the Children’s Caps for Good initiative. It encourages people to make caps for newborns and advocate for newborns in developing countries.

McCasland recruited volunteers at several senior centers and hospitals around Ellis County – including places in Waxahachie, Mansfield and Ennis - and together they made more than 6,000 caps, which are being distributed at hospitals around the world, including countries like Vietnam and Ethiopia.

Rep. Barton was impressed by what the teenager accomplished, “Kate is an extraordinary young woman. She serves as an example for all of us of what can be done to help others with a little hard work and vision. Her project brightened the days of seniors all over our area who had a chance to put their knitting skills to work for a good cause and their handiwork is now helping kids all over the world. It was great work by a great girl.”

Save the Children is considered the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world.

Recognized for their commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, its work takes the group into the heart of communities, where they help children and families help themselves.

They work with other organizations, governments, non-profits and a variety of local partners while maintaining their own independence without political agenda or religious orientation.