Arlington Teen's Legacy Lives on in Saturday Service Project

A year ago, Hannah Flenniken and Jenna White thought they'd be spending this weekend with their good friend Rebecca Read, celebrating her 19th birthday.

As it kicks off, they say they're heartbroken they won't get that chance.

"It's been one of the hardest things that we've had to deal with," said Flenniken, who is now a student at UT-Arlington. "Losing a friend fresh out of high school -- it's unreal. And Becca was such a light in our lives that having that light suddenly not there just really impacted us."

Read, a 2016 graduate of Arlington High School, was killed in a rollover crash last July. White was in the vehicle with her.

"I remember at the time, people just kept asking how can we help, how can we help?" said White, who also is a student at UT-Arlington.

After taking time to process Read's death, White said that question continued to linger in her mind. And so she and Flenniken decided to run with it.

"It definitely helps us cope," said White. "And it's keeping Becca's lively spirit alive."

During her life, Read was very active in Girl Scouts. As she worked to earn her Gold Award, she became heavily involved with a campaign called the Blue Box Project, which collects feminine hygiene products and other toiletries for women in need. She became passionate about organizing Blue Box drives across Arlington.

Flenniken and White felt the best way to honor her was to continue that legacy.

"He goal was to make the world a better place for women to thrive and grow," said Flenniken. "Government assistance programs don't provide those items for women. And they're necessities. That's something that was really important to Becca. And It's really important to us too."

On Saturday, they and about a dozen of Read's friends will line Park Row Drive in front of Arlington High School, where they'll collect feminine hygiene products and toiletries. They'll then donate those items to several local charities that work with needy and at-risk women. The drive will run from 11:00am - 2:00pm.

Anyone unable to make it out to the drive can also donate online via

"Through this Blue Box Project, we found a way to channel our emotions and everything that we feel about losing Becca into something that's beautiful and good," said Flenniken.

White and Flenniken say they plan to make this an annual event.

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