Amy Jukes from Prosper Texas is president of the Prosper Ladies Association. As Christmas approached, a longtime sponsor of the local “Silver Angel” grocery gift card drive to assist seniors in the community unexpectedly dropped out. This left Amy in a quandary, wondering who could step in and take over the project at such short notice. She and her team already had their hands full with other initiatives and year-end activities. As she pondered what she was going to do, it never dawned on her that one of the “angels” that she was looking for was sitting next to her at the dinner table.
The task at hand was normally one that was handled by more experienced adults. However, being keenly aware of his mother’s concern, Amy’s 15-year-old son, Xavier, stepped up to the plate and volunteered to take on the assignment. To assist him, he enlisted the help of two good friends and fellow members of the Prosper 1st Ward teachers quorum, Quinn Hartman and Riley Ziminskas.
Amy said that 21 senior citizens were depending on the gift cards to help them get through the holidays. The three young men decided to go above and beyond the call of duty and reached out to their community to provide gifts and stockings to ensure that the seniors had a present to open on Christmas morning.
According to LDS Living.com, the teens spent weeks “working their spreadsheets and partnering with other area non-profits including Meals on Wheels, Bethlehem Place, and Cornerstone.” The young men even wrapped and delivered the cards, gifts, and stockings to each recipient themselves. Xavier commented, “It was good. Someone needed to do it. And we got a lot of hugs and tons of handshakes.”
Xavier also shared a favorite memory from the experience. He said, “One of the men asked us to come in and sit to talk. I wish we could have talked to him more. I want to go back and visit again. Next year, I will take his gifts last so I have time to talk and get to know him.”
Amy admitted that when the boys agreed to take on the project, she envisioned that her board would have to take over and do most of the work, however, they proved her wrong. She said that she was extremely proud of the boys for their kind, unselfish acts of service.
Xavier is already anxiously thinking about what he can do in 2019. He said, “I am looking forward to doing it next year. I want to do more Silver Angels and have even more friends help me. Next year’s goal is 40 angels. My mom thinks it’s a great idea. My whole family helps out in the community and this is where I can help, too. I will do this until I leave on a mission. Then my brother can do it until I get back.”
An important life lesson that Xavier, Riley, and Quinn have learned from the experience is that all that is needed to make even a small difference in the world is to have an open heart and a desire to serve others. To the senior citizens in their community, these three young men are unexpected angels.