Preteen's aim at ending hunger finds kinship in Oklahoma City

Joshua Williams, who started his nonprofit organization at 5, visited with Feed The Children in Oklahoma City.
BY KYLE FREDERICKSON Modified: April 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm •  Published: April 2, 2013

“It's funny, because sometimes when things are destined to happen, they just happen no matter what you do,” McLean said. “(Williams' aunt) was listening to a radio station one day, and there was a lady talking about not-for-profits and ways you can start your own.”

The family got in touch with the professional on the radio, the paperwork was filed, and Joshua's Heart was born — right near Williams' fifth birthday. Every year the foundation grows. So does its president.

“It's a great feeling,” Williams said. “You know that you're doing the right thing in the community. It's a great feeling in your heart. It's a warm feeling. It inspires you to do more.”

Williams leads a junior advisory board composed entirely of children, who spearhead the foundation. Some on the board are as young as 6. He said the adults in the organization are there for the “heavy lifting.” When he's old enough, Williams plans on taking his foundation international.

He took a small step toward that goal in 2012, when Walmart gave a grant to Joshua's Heart that allowed it to donate backpacks filled with food to schoolchildren in Florida. With more donations and volunteers, they hope to bring that campaign nationwide.

That's why Feed The Children flew Williams and his family to Oklahoma City to meet with the leaders within the organization. Williams also got a first look at an exhibit, called Story of Hope, set to open late this spring at Feed The Children's headquarters, at 4529 Enterprise Place. It's an interactive and educational experience that will display the full spectrum of what the non-profit stands for and hopes to accomplish.

“It's just a great experience knowing Feed The Children is doing a great thing in the community,” Williams said. “Getting to have a relationship with them will be a great help. And we'll be able to help more people.”

Williams said he's still just a normal kid when it comes to most things. He loves playing sports and video games with his friends. Some things still frighten him; roller coasters and spiders mostly. But when you've discovered your purpose at such a young age, the important things in life outweigh the small stuff.

“I believe that everyone has a purpose in life,” Williams said. “I believe that this is my purpose in life. I will carry this out the rest of my life, as long as I can, as long as I live.”

by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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