TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Will Herrington was spending an afternoon at the Mall at Barnes Crossing with his Orchard United Methodist Church youth group, when he was recruited to help raise money.
“I just got here and this guy called me up cause it’s my birthday and I collected 91 dollars for the troops, then I got a 25 dollar Kroger Gift Card,” Herrington said.
It’s one of the many ways Scott Burns will raise money as part of the annual 7 Days for the Troops event.
This year Scott is raising money to help a group called Purple Heart Homes. They help remodel homes for veterans injured during, or as a result of their service. All proceeds from this event will help a Vietnam vet in Northeast Mississippi.
“If there’s something that needs to be handicapped accessible for him to be able to do the things, from laundry, kitchen, just being able to get a wheelchair in and out of every room, closet, little things like that that we don’t think about,” Burns said.
Scott has a pretty good idea of what injured vets face. He served four years in the United States Marine Corps but was injured during basic training. The lasting effects of that injury meant his left leg had to be amputated below the knee.
Scott spends the entire time in the food court. His bed will be set up behind the stage, and he will use the restrooms off the food court for personal hygiene. He says it’s a small price to pay when you consider what our troops are facing everyday.
“There’s guys serving out in the sand that aren’t getting showers so me doing it a week here, it’s no big deal,” Burns said.
Mall patrons and visitors say they appreciate the gesture for true American heroes.
“This is wonderful, sometimes people forget about our veterans who come home,” said LaVonna Stephenson, whose husband is in the United States Marine Corps.
“To get out into the community, be able to raise money for other veterans who have served before us , people more needy of certain donations, I think it’s great,” said USMC Staff Sgt. Patrick Eversull.
Scott will be in the mall’s food court through the morning of July third.
On Sunday, a “Little Miss Red White and Blue Beauty Review” will be held. For more information call 662 401 3349.
To donate online go to www.isupportthetroops.org