CREATED Dec. 12, 2012
ESTERO, Fla. - This is the time of year when we celebrate those holiday traditions passed down from generation to generation.
One Estero girl is turning the tables and teaching her family and the rest of Southwest Florida the true meaning of Christmas.
12-year-old Jeana Peters is not like her peers. While most would spend their free time relaxing on the couch, her couch turned into an assembly line of Christmas cheer.
"I filled 200 stockings," Peters proudly said.
It's not that her family is that big, but her heart is. She turned a school service project into
something that can't even be measured.
"Most of my peers were babysitting or doing volunteer work, but I knew I wanted to do something a bit bigger," she said.
That she did by creating Jeana's Opeartion Stockings for Heroes.
"It felt really good to be able to do it," Jeana said. "I wish I would have been able to do it for the entire battalion but I didn't have enough money."
Instead, she focused her efforts on the men and women directly on the front line in Afghanistan.
"We're very proud of her," said her mother Leah. "It was a very hard project and it took 2 months to do and she did it all herself."
Jeana's parents drove her to businesses for donations and they wrote letters asking for help from friends and family. Her dad's business helped with the shipping.
"To know that one little girl did all of this herself, they are going to enjoy them," said Leah Peters.
The stockings are filled with shampoo, body wash, candy, even a stamped letter so soldiers can send back their own holiday greetings to loved ones. That's not all.
"I wrote a letter and I put a picture of myself, I put in each of the stockings and I left them my address so I hope they'll write me how they liked them," said Jeana.
She only hopes that next year she can collect more money and make this an even bigger project.