CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — Lexi Bratton keeps the Star of David close to her. She wears it on a necklace.

“I'm proud to be Jewish,” she said.

It wasn’t always that way. Lexi, 17, said she did not practice her faith for many years. It all changed when she took a trip to Israel this past summer.

“It's amazing how connected I feel now,” she said.

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When Lexi learned about the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, her heart ached more than she could imagine.

“It was painful for me,” she said. “All weekend, I was stewing about it, very upset.”

Lexi said she wanted to do something to help. With advice from her rabbis and the green light from the Principal at Parkway West High School, Lexi started raising money for the victims’ families.

She went around her school’s cafeteria with a bucket, asking for donations. She also got Schnucks to donate dozens of donuts. She sold them to her fellow students.

“There was one student who heard about what we were doing, and it struck her. She donated $100,” she said.

Lexi’s mom, Amy Bratton, said her daughter has always been giving. When she was in second grade, Lexi donated her birthday presents to foster children. She also donated money from her own piggy bank to the MDA telethon.

“I love that she's passionate,” Amy said. “I love that when she finds something she believes in, she doesn't let go.”

In all, Lexi raised $1,000 in just three days.

“It really touched me,” she said. “The response we got was so heartwarming.”