Hometown Hero: Marshfield Teen's Birthday Wish

By Melanie Chapman | mchapman@kolr10.com

Published 08/22 2013 07:07PM

Updated 08/22 2013 07:09PM

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- Shannon Jester of Marshfield isn't your average 14-year-old. She didn't ask for clothes, a new phone, or anything elaborate for her recent birthday. Instead, she asked for food -- but not for herself.

"I didn't need anything, so I decided to ask people for food for the backpack program," she says.

Within hours of her birthday wish, people started donating. Her nextdoor neighbor, Natalie Crawford, helped get the ball rolling after she posted the request for food on Facebook.

"Shannon has helped me numerous times collect itmes for Kiwanas," says Natalie. "Shannon is always the first one to volunteer to come and help me stand in the rain or the heat and collect."

Donations for the Marshfield backpack program are pouring in even from other states, and more is expected.

"And it's helping to get them through the weekend, nutritional things until they get back to school on Monday," says Julie Manary with Marshfield Schools. "Their faces light up when they know it's the day to pick up their bag and they look forward to it it's just a blessing we can do it."

The backpacks go out on Fridays and this week Shannon's collections are expected to go home with kids.

"I didn't expect it all. I was just telling friends to bring food instead of presents."

A small gesture that will go along way. Shannon's goal is to help her peers and keep them from going hungry.

"I just think we need more young people like Shannon."

Shannon will have her birthday party this friday and her friends are taking food to help those that need it the most.

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