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ANOKA, Minn. - Mark Tiede knew he was in for trouble when he saw the look in her eye and the hand on her hip.

"Indignant" is the word he uses to describe the nine-year-old girl who looked him square in the eye, "absolutely indignant that nothing was being done."

Tiede, a pastor at Anoka's Zion Lutheran Church, thought the church already offered plenty of programs for homeless families and individuals. He did not make that mistake again.

Isabella Reichenbacher is on a mission to help Anoka's homeless.

"She's my stubborn child," says her mother, Carol Reichenbacher.

A spark was lit in Isabella last year when she saw a homeless person carrying bags and pushing a shopping cart in downtown Anoka. "I had to explain to her that some people don't have homes, so they have to bring everything they have with them wherever they go," says her mom, "and she was really quiet about that."

But that same day Isabella was putting marker to paper, drawing up plans for a collection drive of food, clothing and other basic essentials for homeless young people and adults.

"I felt sad for them, because they didn't have a home," Isabella said.

Sadness turned to frustration as Isabella's plans were pushed to the back burner by the adults in her life.

"I kept saying we'll do it, we'll do it, we need to pick a day, we need to pick a day," said Isabella's mom. "We dropped the ball."

When she decided her pastor was moving no faster, Isabella confronted Teide at the church after services. "She yelled my name," Tiede recalls. "I said, 'What do you think we need to do?'" Isabella fired back,: "I told you a month ago."

Not long after, Tiede received a follow-up email from Isabella, requesting to speak to the Zion congregation at Sunday services.

Isabella was given her wish.

"Hi, my name is Isabella Reichenbacher, she said confidently to the congregation before requesting food and clothing for two previously planned drives.

By the end of November, Zion Lutheran had set a record for the number of coats, hats and mittens collected for the less fortunate.

Then, on Thanksgiving eve, members of the Zion congregation donated more than two tons of food - a thousand pounds more than last year.

"When it comes from a little one, I think it really bends at people's hearts," said Carolyn Foss, a member of Zion Lutheran.

The Thanksgiving food collection isn't new to Zion, nor is it the work of one person. But in its 25 years, the event has never had a better third grade promoter.

"It's a very humbling thing to stand and work with a nine year-old-prophet," said Tiede.

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