With help from her family, an 11-year-old delivered more than 14,000 Christmas cards that she collected for the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
Janesa Wine first began collecting cards for the program three years ago after she saw a public service announcement featuring singer Amy Grant encouraging people to participate.
“I was a big fan of Amy Grant and I was like, 'Hey, that is something I can do.' So I collected 200 cards that year and turned them in,” Janesa recalled.
She continued, “I thought this was a great way that all the soldiers overseas and in hospitals can actually get a taste of home when they are millions of miles away.”
This year Janesa worked all year and collected a total of 14,065 cards for soldiers.
“If it wasn't for the community, I could not have gotten all these cards signed if it wasn't for the help that I had,” she said.
On Wednesday, while being recognized for her work by the Red Cross, Janesa had the opportunity to meet Amy Grant.
Grant congratulated Janesa for her work as her family proudly watched.
“She has always wanted to do something community service oriented. She says that one day she would like to own a non profit organization and be able to run that and help other people,” Janesa's mother Janine said.
Grant told Nashville's News 2 she was honored to meet such a wonderful young woman and is glad she had a positive influence in her life.
“I don't think I will ever look at doing a public service announcement the same way,” she said.
Janesa added that meeting her role model was a dream come true.
She said, “I was like, 'This is not real, I'm dreaming. Wake up! Wake up!' because I was not expecting [to meet her] and I have [wanted] to meet her for such a long time.”
The American Red Cross is accepting holiday card donations for the troops through Noon on Friday.
For more information, visit RedCross.org.