13-year-old on heart warming mission to give coats to homeless in Jacksonville

Hannah's Hope House makes a difference in the community. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s hope that people who are homeless in Jacksonville are a little warmer tonight. It’s thanks to the kindness of one amazing young girl, 13-year-old Hannah Hall.

Hall and her parents work with City Rescue Mission to collect, sort, and distribute coats to give to people who are homeless in Jacksonville.

Saturday morning the work was underway downtown. Anyone in need of a coat was handed one, free of charge.

“I’m grateful that God provided me the resources so I can help any person that needs help in Jacksonville,” Hannah’s Hope House Founder, Hannah Hall said.

Hundreds of people gratefully accepted a new coat, including John Stillman. When News4JAX told Stillman, a 13-year-old was behind the effort, he almost couldn’t believe it.

“With the heart that you’ve got and the mindset you’ve got, there’s no stopping you. You can achieve anything on this planet. So God bless you,” Stillman said to the teenage nonprofit founder.

Hannah Hall’s father, Walter, said Saturday’s drive was their second annual event.

Last year, Hannah came to us and said, ‘I want to do something for the homeless. She said, ‘I want to be able to give out coats and help them during the wintertime to help them stay warm.’ We’ve been sorting coats ever since,” Walter Hall said.

That casual moment last year is responsible for hundreds of people’s new coats. For people like Stillman, a new coat is another boost helping him through hard times.

Though he has already climbed his way out of homelessness with assistance from City Rescue Mission, he is still working to regain everything he has lost.

“It’s a wonderful place to be-- Jacksonville is. I hope I can create myself a job and reconnect with my family,” he said.

Hannah’s outreach is spreading hope like wildfire.

For Stillman, knowing the kindness of others gives him hope for his future. For Walter, seeing the generosity of his daughter inspires him to have concern for others-- even total strangers.

“Her mother and I are so proud of her. She’s actually taught us the importance of giving. She’s taught us that-- and we’re excited. And we love her,” Walter Hall said.

People also had a chance to get vaccinated at the giveaway. A mobile JTA vaccine clinic joined the coat drive, providing first and second doses and boosters.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.