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A couple of hours after identical twins Sofia and Mirabel Atkinson were born, Mirabel was rushed to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she spent the first two tenuous months of her life. Diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease, Mirabel underwent three major open-heart surgeries and three heart catherization procedures before her seventh birthday.

Now 13-year-old Beehives in the Capitol Hill Ward in Washington, D.C., Mirabel and Sofia decided they wanted to give back. As part of their Personal Progress requirements for the Young Women program of the Church, they collected more than 7,000 pairs of underwear for Children’s National. They were joined in the project by fellow young women from their ward, Isabel Marchena, 13, and Rebekah Lahti, 13, as well as young women from the nearby Anacostia Ward, Mercy Agwu, 12, and Esra Edwards, 12. Esra is also a former Children’s National patient.

“We thought about knitted hats for babies or toys,” said Mirabel, “but I wanted to donate something that patients really need. Sometimes kids come to the hospital unexpectedly and they don’t have a change of clothes or clean underwear. In the hospital, doctors and parents make most of your decisions. You need to find ways to feel normal. Having clean underwear helps you feel like yourself again.”

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