Woman gives back to community via U-Haul
Published 12:03 am Friday, December 25, 2015
NATCHEZ — Sometimes Santa drives a U-Haul.
At least on Christmas Eve he — or rather she — did.
Miss-Lou native Hannah Denny donned a jolly red suit and hat Thursday and delivered gifts to 40 families in the area.
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Denny, a 2006 graduate of Monterey High School, handed out Spiderman toys, basketballs, footballs, books, crayons, remote control cars and other gifts to children in Natchez, Vidalia and Ferriday.
The number of gifts was too great to fit in Denny’s car, so she rented a U-Haul to deliver the gifts.
Denny lives in New Orleans now where she runs On Time Caring professional full-time caregiver agency. She also runs On Time Toons, a costumed character service for parties and events.
“I’ve been so blessed, I wanted to give back,” Denny said.
Denny posted the idea to purchase gifts and deliver them to families on Facebook in search of children in need.
“I got so many responses and calls after calls,” she said. “I just went through and chose the first 40 families.”
While Denney said she’s happy to brighten the holidays for some local children this year, Denny is hopeful her message goes beyond just what ends up under the tree.
“I just want mainly for kids to understand it’s not about the gifts, it’s about the love and giving,” Denny said. “If I can change one kid’s outlook on what Christmas is about, I’ve done my job.”
Denny plans to deliver gifts again next year and says she’ll work with the local Angel Tree organization to identify children.
“It makes me want to do more,” Once I see their smiles, it makes me want to do more for them.”
Denny says she struggled with a learning disability in school and never predicted the success she has accomplished. She hopes it inspires local children to work hard and reach their potential.
“They need people in their lives who are going to guide them and show them that life is not easy … and that you can do anything you want to do,” Denny said. “If you have people constantly around you telling you that, you’re going to do it.”
Denny’s mother Vickie Cupstid said Denny has also been a special child whose positivity and charisma is contagious.
“She just reminds you every day to wake up and be thankful for what you have and put your best foot forward,” Cupstid said.