12-year-old can’t get V.A. to accept donations; Better Call Harr - CBS46 News

12-year-old can’t get V.A. to accept donations; Better Call Harry delivers

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

An extraordinary young woman wanted to honor veterans, spending months working on a project. But when it came time to make the delivery, she couldn’t get anyone at the local VA to help.

Better Call Harry turned this project into an experience she’ll never forget.

The VA Hospital on Claremont Road has an entire floor called the Eagles Nest. It’s a retirement community for service members who are too often forgotten.

Jemimia Schoen is wandering the halls, brightening up a place that could always use a little sunshine.

It almost didn’t happen. Several months ago she made “hero pack” gift bags.

It was a community service project for Schoen’s bat mitzvah. With help from her classmates at the Atlanta Jewish Academy, the kids assembled more than 50 bags.

“Personally, I want to say thank you for all the freedoms I got as an American that they fought for,” she said.

Schoen’s mom contacted the VA and asked what to include. They suggested undershirts and toiletries. She also bought books with military themes.

But none of it compares to the handwritten notes written by classmates.

She couldn’t wait to deliver the hero gift packs. Her mom called the VA and arranged the delivery, but when they got to the VA, they couldn’t find anyone to take the bags. No one ever came out.

After several attempts, the gift bags went back in the garage.

For a kid who put in so much time, this hurt.

Two month’s later, Schoen’s grandmother got an idea.

“I had just watched a segment of you helping someone, and I went next door and said ‘let’s write to Harry, Better Call Harry,’” she said.

Once we made the call, things started happening fast.

The chief of volunteering services personally greeted the family. The original plan was to drop off the bags, but this delivery turned into a whole lot more.

Now, some vets know that as long as Schoen’s around, they will never be forgotten.

The VA invited Schoen to come back anytime she wants. She’s already got another project planned for some of the female veterans.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Call me at 404-327-3030 or email me at bettercallharry@cbs46.com

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