Acts of kindness to honor life of Forest Hills student

A "Live Like Lucas" pancake breakfast at the First Park Congregational Church in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One year after a 15-year-old Forest Hills Central High School student was hit and killed by a car, his mother organized a series of events to help the community.

Lucas Vansprange, 15, died after being hit by a car when he was trying to cross Cascade Road in Cascade Township on January 16, 2015.

Lucas VanSprange (Family photo)
Lucas VanSprange (Family photo)

“It’s been a roller coaster. You know, I think one of the very hardest things that you can do as a person, as a parent, is to deal with the passing of a child so there have been some very low moments,” said Melissa Conner, his mother.

She created an organization called “Live Like Lucas” to honor him.

“It’s a non-profit organization and the mission is to empower youth to spread kindness,” Conner said.

Therefore, she organized a series of “acts of kindness” events throughout West Michigan, and it started with a pancake breakfast to serve the homeless at the First Park Congregational Church in Grand Rapids.

“We are also handing out lunches to the homeless and also hygiene kits. We are visiting some nursing homes and doing games with the seniors. We are making care packages for soldiers at Forest Hills Central High School and we are also handing out random act of kindness gift cards at a Meijer location,” Conner told 24 Hour News 8.

“It means a lot. The Heartside district, there’s a lot of people down here that just don’t have the funds,” said Darwin Parish, who attended the pancake breakfast.

Conner said the acts of kindness are the best ways to honor her son, Lucas.

“He had the kindest heart of anyone I knew and he had so much compassion and he wanted to help people. He was a wonderful, wonderful 15-year-old boy. I can’t help but smile when I talk about him. He was just a shining star in this world and I just hope that we can affect a lot of people through his legacy and really bring about some positive changes,” said Conner.



Live Like Lucas 

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