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JEFFERSON AWARD: Local Man Starts Program to Help Starving Children

Updated: Thursday, January 30 2014, 11:11 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's about 1500 miles from Nashville to Haiti, and John Hall has made the trip dozens of times over the past 15 years. A church mission trip inspired him to start a program to help some of the island's starving children.

After you see Hall's story, we think you'll agree he's a perfect candidate for one of our Jefferson Awards for community service. When John Hall rolled into the Haitian countryside for the first time in 1998, he saw children at schools run by American churches.

The kids were well-dressed but something was wrong.

Hall returned home to Wilson County, but he couldn't get those children out of his mind. The churches in Haiti offered an education but often didn't have the resources to buy food.

John Hall launched a charity and started raising money. He spoke to anyone who'd listen, asking them to help the kids in Haiti. His charity, Trinity Hope, started off by adopting one school.

It now feeds children at 87 schools, more than 17,000 of them. Hall's Pastor Keith Enko has seen the miracle first hand.

Hall and other volunteers say with at least one meal a day, the children are now learning and growing. Teenagers like Alexandra have a chance.

In addition to food, Trinity Hope is providing jobs. It buys all the food in Haiti and hires locals to cook and serve it. John Hall, a retired food wholesaler, has evolved into Trinity Hope's chief salesman.

Ken Joyce investigated Trinity Hope before making a donation. He became convinced Hall was walking the walk and told us about John.

Hall was quick to tell us God called him to start Trinity Hope and hasn't told him to stop. John Hall becomes the 3rd Middle Tennessee resident to receive the Jefferson Award for public service. FOX17 applauds his work on behalf of the children of Haiti and his ongoing efforts to expand his feeding program to more schools. To learn more about John Hall and our other award winners, CLICK HERE.

If you'd like to nominate someone in your community, we have an online nomination form in that same section.

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