Lucas Van Sprange was the kind of kid every parent hopes for. He was intelligent, well mannered, respectful, and mature beyond his years. More importantly he had a huge heart for others. He put others ahead of himself. Always. His teachers noticed when he sent them emails of thanks and admiration, offering to help with other kids in his class who seemed to be causing trouble. His classmates noticed him smiling at him in the hall, taking time to talk to them, noticing when they were having a bad day and trying to cheer them up. They noticed when he stood up for those who were being treated badly. They noticed when he listened to their problems and acted more like a brother than a friend. They relied on him for support and guidance. His family thanked God every day for the son who was more than willing to help with his siblings, was always first on the scene when someone was crying; asked his Mom how her day was when he got home from school before even talking about his day. He took on a caretaker role in everything he did. In July of 2014 Lucas went to Guatamala on a service trip and his mind was blown by the poverty and need. He wanted to be a doctor someday and felt a tug on his heart when he saw the infected cuts and horrible tooth infections inflicted on helpless children. It opened his eyes to a whole new level of service amongst the poorest of poor. On January 16, 2015 the most unspeakable tragedy happened. Lucas was killed crossing the street trying to get to the school bus. In an instant an entire community mourned. They quickly heard of the boy who had a smile for everyone, a heart brimming with kindness and a heart of servitude. It was as the Forest Hills Schools Superintendent said, “…a response he had never seen before.” A student who had flown under the radar, only a freshman for 4 months, was seen for who he really was. It’s not usually the nice kids who get a lot of attention, until tragedy strikes. The school came together to mourn the tragic loss of a classmate who deeply cared for others and demonstrated kindness in his everyday life. This is how LiveLikeLucas was born. Up until now it has been a catchphrase for kindness, compassion, and servitude. Our goal is to turn it into an organization which brings out those qualities in other students, to empower them to do the same. Instead of just talking about it, really doing it. How do we really make a change? How do we encourage others to follow in Lucas’ footsteps? We do it through service. By looking outside of the bubble of ones’ own life and seeing a world where there is so much suffering. For the many who just need a smile, a hug, or an act of kindness. So many people lack the basic necessities of food and shelter all over the world. Through service, we show kindness and through kindness, we show love. It’s not just about “ME.” Lucas Van Sprange knew that. That is what set him apart. This is why we need to LiveLikeLucas.