Local News

Henderson man raises money for cancer patients' Christmas gifts

Posted December 5, 2017 6:10 p.m. EST
Updated December 5, 2017 7:59 p.m. EST

— A Henderson man's campaign to give Christmas presents to cancer patients and their families has grown from $30 three years ago to $2,300.

Ja'Lonte Williams grew up far from the North Pole, but some consider him Santa Claus.

For the third year in a row, Williams is surprising cancer patients at Maria Parham Hospital's cancer center with a Christmas gift.

"I had quite a few family members pass away from cancer," Williams said. "Having (my aunt) pass fueled the fire to these random acts of kindness we have going."

The monetary gift will go towards paying bills or buying Christmas presents for the family

Michelle Campbell, who is married with three children, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and credits her faith, family and strangers like Williams with helping her through her treatments.

"He's a phenomenal young man," she said. "He has a great heart."

"There's a lot of good people left, and Ja'Lonte is one of them, I just met him this morning, and he's already touched my life in a unique way," Campbell said. “This is just amazing to me because you know, you're still willing to do this out of the bottom of your heart."

Candace Sinclair is a single mother of two. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer and is not working as she goes through treatment. She said the money will go far.

"He's truly a blessing," Sinclair said.

Williams raised the funds through friends, family and complete strangers.

"I had people give $300, I had people give $50, I had people give a $1 or $2," Williams said.

Each person who donated posed with their gift and was pictured on a poster.

"There's a lot of bad going on in the world, but there's still good people, and he's one," Sinclair said.

“My mission is to keep that going," Williams said.

Williams also brought some wrapped gifts for each of the families’ children. He hopes to eventually start a nonprofit to expand his selfless endeavor.