13-year-old donates birthday gifts to Butterfly Bridge

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center received donations from a unique source on Oct. 7, when 13-year-old Joanna Landrum of Jemison delivered a bundle of birthday donations.

Landrum, a seventh-grade student at Chilton Christian Academy, sacrificed receiving birthday gifts in order to bless other children in need.

Landrum’s reason was simple but profound.

“I’m really not in need of anything,” Landrum said.

Included in the donation were items, such as Play-Doh, board games and notebooks, for children to enjoy as they wait in the lobby.

Donations were collected in lieu of presents at Landrum’s 13th birthday party at Signature Studio of Dance in Clanton.

“While these donations don’t offer any services, they bring a smile to a kid’s face when they need it the most,” Jana Zuelzke, executive director and child forensic interview specialist at Butterfly Bridge, said.

Landrum said she had been inspired by her ninth-grade friend, Tatumn Norcross, who had requested donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital instead of gifts for her past three birthdays.

Norcross also attends CCA.

Landrum’s mother Rose Landrum said she was proud of her daughter when she announced her decision to dedicate her birthday to serving others.

Rose Landrum immediately called Sheriff John Shearon to request suggestions for local organizations the donations could support.

Butterfly Bridge, she said, seemed to stick out.

“When Joanna came for a tour and learned more about what we do here at Butterfly Bridge, she wanted to do something for the kids we serve who have been through some very difficult and abusive situations,” Zuelzke said.

The mother-daughter duo said they were thankful for Butterfly Bridge and happy to support the organization’s cause, but were sad such tragic circumstances required the need for the advocacy center in Chilton County.

“It really says a lot about Joanna that she realizes that helping others is more important than doing something for yourself sometimes,” Zuelzke said.

The Landrums said they desired no “limelight,” but hope only to inspire others to serve the community as well.