Two young Southern Nevada men are receiving national recognition for their Acts of Volunteerism. They flew to Washington D.C. this month for The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. 17- year -old James Lea was one of five given top honors. When the holidays hit you’ll find Faith Lutheran High School Junior James Lea at many different Southern Nevada homes, working to bring some cheer, support, and big surprises to families who otherwise would not be in a mood to celebrate. James and his mother, Suzanne, created “In 12 Days” after their own loss. “In 2008 when I was nine-years-old my father passed away. That was a horrible time for me. As the days went on we would smile, we would say we were o.k.. and good, but we weren’t’t. “ Anonymous friends however started leaving mystery gifts for them on each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Soon James and his family realized they were not alone, he says, “It just changed us, it helped us overcome this horrible moment in our lives.” He and his mother made it their mission in 12 days to pay it forward to children and their families who have lost a parent or close family member. For the past six years showering special gifts, and activities upon families. For example on Day 3 – A French hen feast for a family, on day 10: 10 Lords of Leaping, Helicopter Lords that is, giving a tour over the Grand Canyon. It’s not just about the extravagant and entertaining gifts; it’s a way to bring hundreds of people – a united community of supporters into these families lives. James adds, “ To know that people will come and help people they don’t even know, have never even heard of, is just amazing.”
Times are tough in Southern Nevada. Many are in need and are dealing with the worry and stress of wondering how they are going to make ends meet. The good news is that generosity is alive and well in Las Vegas. People are showing acts of kindness every day towards family, friends, neighbors and even strangers. All too often, these amazing people go unrecognized for their selflessness. We'd like to meet these people and reward them for helping others.