Tupelo seventh grader organizes event for troops


TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Hanna Donnelson is a seventh-grader at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School, and her organization is A Child on a Mission.

Her project is called Boots on the Ground.

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“I thought about my family member that is deployed in Iraq. And I thought about his son, who is unable to see his father for Christmas. And I thought that I should give back to others who don’t have new shoes for Christmas,” said Hanna.

Hanna said people were amazed at how someone her age could organize an event like this.

“People are surprised because of how old I am and how tall I am, but they are also very proud of me.”

And young Hanna says this is part of her calling to be a missionary.

“I was called to be a missionary at nine years old, and I had to accept it, but my parents were a little skeptical, so I just started my mission work at 11,” said Hanna.

“Well, I tell you what for a 12-year old she has phenomenal heart. God has really given Hanna a phenomenal heart, and she is able to just come up with a lot of things but as well as other people that is part of a child on a mission. We’ve been able to orchestrate this and sit down and really listen to her vision and bring it to pass,” Demetria Donnelson.

And Hanna’s mom believes it is important to support service members and their families.

“They risk their lives to protect us and make sure that we’re able to do the things that we’re doing now without having war. And so it’s very important for us to keep our boots on the ground and make sure that the family that they’ve left behind is well taken care of,” Demetria.

Sergent Benjamin Parker is a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard, who grew up at the Tupelo Children’s Mansion.

“It’s amazing to think you know the National Guard is about a community. And you know serving our country and community so when a 12-year-old comes to me with an idea to collect a bunch of shoes for not only kids but kids of soldiers that are deployed overseas, I think it’s a huge deal. I mean she’s 12-years old, and she’s doing something that some people can’t even dream of doing,” said Parker.

And Parker, who has been deployed twice, understands how important this kind of support is for troops and families.

They gave away 70-pairs of shoes on this day.