Wilfred Williams and the “Christmas Project”

Dakota Brecht, Staff Reporter

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All Wilfred Williams ever wanted was for someone to believe in him; a skinny 10-year-old kid from Liberia with a huge heart. In return, what Williams found was better than what he ever expected. One7 Ministries in Charlotte, N.C. took him in and helped shape the man he is today.

Williams is an Oakland University soccer alumus and is on track to graduate in the spring. At age 10 he moved to America from Liberia and got involved with One7 Ministries. He played soccer at Eastern Florida State College and The University of Memphis before playing his final two seasons at Oakland.

One7 is a non-profit organization that looks to transform young lives marked by abuse and other hardships into the next generation of leaders for Jesus Christ. Williams has seen the poverty and hardships some have faced and all he has wants to do is give back. This year, he saw no better time to do that than during the Christmas season.

“I spent eight months living and interning at One7 Ministry before going to college,” Williams said. “While there, they taught me how to be more giving and selfless. So, when I was leaving for college I wanted to do something to give back to them to thank them for inspiring me and changing my life.”

The idea that came from this was “The Christmas Project”. Williams has been doing his Christmas Project since 2014 and it has only grown bigger and brought joy to more kids who are less fortunate.

For the first Christmas Project, Williams asked family and friends buy toys. They then went around and delivered the gifts to the kids during the holidays. The project continues to grow to this day as Williams raised money all year long to take a group of kids out for a Christmas dinner and to buy toys.

Williams appeared at soccer clinics across the country, including places like Charlotte, Houston and Las Vegas. He also hosted his own soccer clinic at Johnson City, Tenn. with a $10 admission fee all in hopes to raise enough money to keep his Christmas Project going.

“I didn’t grow up with much money, my family always managed to put food on the table for us and I was grateful,” Williams said.  “My family taught me to always give back to those less fortunate than we were and I’ve always been blessed to have many incredible friends and families who have adopted me into their family and helped me throughout my life”.

Wilfred uses his favorite bible verse as a slogan for his clinics and as a reminder of how much of an impact athletes can have.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” –Proverbs 17:17