My name is William Fitzgerald, Jr. and I am now 25 years old. I love to meet new people and help others in my community. I graduated high school in 2017, attended Central Piedmont Community College for 3 years after high school and graduated from Winthrop University in May 2022. I was born and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am an Eagle Scout who earned my Eagle Scout rank at the age of 15 making me the world's youngest Eagle Scout with Down syndrome. Mother Teresa said, "Love is not patronizing and charity isn't about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same - with charity you give love, so don't just give money but reach out your hand instead." I want to live the rest of my life loving and helping other people who sometimes cannot help themselves or they may just need a helping hand. I do this by rallying friends and neighbors to join me.
William's Walk was started with the help of my parents when I was about 18 months old. I began by helping my parents to buy food at our corner store every Wednesday before thanksgiving and going with them to a food collection site to donate what we bought so that we could help others to have a good Thanksgiving meal. At first, I was just practicing my walking but I was practicing "To walk in my life ...with a purpose." As I got older and my brother and sister came along, we were lucky to find a venue that would help us to mobilize more servant leaders and reach a broader audience of volunteers who want to help others like I do. We started to donate to the Street Turkeys event in Charlotte hosted by WFNZ personalities. Then we wrapped in my friends in scouting, classes in high school and now college, and my parents invite their colleagues and friends and they invited their colleagues and friends and so on and so on. We now have many sponsors like JJ's Red Hots, Harris Teeter, Lowes, Trader Joes, Covenant Case Management, LLC and The Downer Law Firm. We are grateful for each of the companies and individuals that support us. Please know that I love each of you.
Our walk still remains a grassroots event that has the sole purpose of motivating others to join me in giving back to our neighbors and community members especially at this time of the year when those less fortunate have the most difficult time. The food we donate helps for both Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and perhaps even longer. It is a very fulfilling feeling and you will enjoy it when you join our group. Just make the decision to help others, then collect your food items and bring them to join us the day before Thanksgiving in paying it forward by helping our neighbors. You can also drop off early if you cannot attend or call us to pick up your donation. We hope you will walk with us.