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Jefferson Awards: 'Lance's Gift' spreads holiday cheer to seniors

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Posted at 8:00 AM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 19:01:06-05

The Jefferson Awards is now Multiplying Good, and we could use a little good in our lives. While there is a new name, the essence of the service doesn't change. WRTV is still recognizing unsung heroes through the "Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good." Nominate someone you know who is making a difference for a Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good.

INDIANAPOLIS — Just in time for the season of giving, this month's recipient of the Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good is back to spreading holiday cheer while inspiring people along the way.

Lance Williams is just 17-years-old. He's an unsung hero, who took a school assignment and ran with it, turning it into a yearly mission to lift the spirits of elders during the holidays.

He has a young, vibrant spirit, but an old soul.

"Since I was a kid," Williams says, "I had always loved senior citizens because I spent a lot of time with my grandma and her friends because she would watch me a lot. So that's kind of where the passion came from and I got the idea for the organization."

That organization, "Lance's Gift," is now his labor of love.

It has blossomed from a simple school assignment when he was just 13 to a non-profit organization.

"When I was in 8th grade at Saint Monica, we were given a project to do something that involved something we were passionate about," Williams said.

That passion is showing generosity for the elderly.

"Lance's Gift" raises money every year to buy gifts for senior citizens homes. Lance also collects donations during the year to buy all kinds of goods to fill dozens of gift bags with everything from blankets to calendars; from notebooks to game books.

The Brebeuf High School senior has raised more than $16,000 over the last four years and provided more than 2,000 gifts for seniors in the Indianapolis area.

The goodwill effort gains momentum year to year, bringing in more donations and attracting more volunteers.

Then COVID-19 eventually took hold and as the pandemic worsened, Lance decided that he had to change the focus of his service.

"I noticed the senior citizens had been affected, especially more than others," Lance said, "They have been labeled as a vulnerable population to COVID-19, so I though that it was an opportunity for Lance's Gift to help out with that."

He collected items like face masks, hand sanitizer and sterile gloves and delivered COVID Kits to senior communities.

His mother, Carolyn Mosby, couldn't be prouder.

"I think, for him, the fulfillment comes from seeing how he's changing lives and affecting people and he's made some great friends at some of these senior citizens' homes that we've visited too," Mosby said.

Williams is inspiring others to get up and do something to make the lives of others better, and he expects no recognition.

That's why he's worthy of wearing the Jefferson Award medal.

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