FORT WAYNE, IND. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- It's so heart-warming to see a young person go The Extra Mile.
And that's what my special report is all about this month.
12 year old Joe Hilty and his mom Lana of Portland stopped by the station with just a few examples of the thank yous that Joe has received.
Mom nominated son after then 10 year old Joe wanted to send a care package to an American soldier.
After that, he wanted to send others.
He set up a lemonade stand and raised good money and awareness.
He then gave presentations to community groups.
And the community responded... to the tune of $11,000 so far, enough to send some 300 care packages to men and women in the military.
The Hiltys know that times can be difficult when fighting for our freedom, and they just want say "thanks."
Lana Hilty says, " When he started this idea, and I told him he could set up his lemonade stand to raise money, I really thought after he saw how much work it was gonna be, he wasn't gonna want to continue, but he hasn't given up. He's continued to go the extra mile to serve our soldiers."
Joe Hilty says, " We stumbled across indysoldiers.com which lets you send care packages to people you don't know. So, I decided I wanted to do that, and after that, God said, Joe, you should keep doing this. I'm proud of all the awards I've got on the shelves, and just the letters are so good."
Lana says, " I get as excited as Joe does when there's a letter in the mailbox. In fact, if we get it, and he's at school, it is very difficult for me not to wait to open it!"
Joe says he'll continue to send care packages to members of the military until "God tells him to stop."
He says he plans to one day get his education and join the air force.
My heartfelt thanks to him and Lana for stopping by and especially for going "The Extra Mile."
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