Good People Doing Good Things — Liam and Scott Hannon

Last night when I began working on my ‘good people’ post, I intended to write about 3 or 4 people, as I often do, and I picked one with which to begin.  But, before long I was up to nearly 700 words and still had more to say about this remarkable duo … a boy and his dad …

liam-7Today, please allow me to introduce to you 12-year-old Liam Hannon of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Liam’s dad typically sent him to camp for a portion of each summer, but in 2017, when Liam was just ten, he informed his dad that he didn’t want to go to camp that year.  Dad said okay but insisted that Liam find something productive and positive to keep himself busy through the summer.

That first week of summer vacation, Liam and his dad found an online treasure hunt game called Brain Chase, where Liam chose three topics to focus on, one of which was ‘service’.  The game challenged Liam to find some way, some project to give back to his community.  Liam thought about the homeless people he saw every day right outside his building, and he had an idea.  The idea was to make … sandwiches!  Sandwiches to pass out to the people who needed them most.  And thus was Liam’s Lunches of Love born.liam-6In the first week, Liam loaded up a wagon and handed out 20 sandwiches with his dad’s help. He went from sandwiches to complete bag lunches, upgraded the wagon to a hand-cart, and to date has served up more than 2,000 bag lunches to homeless people in his neighborhood.  He doesn’t just make the lunches (with some help from dad), but on each and every lunch bag, he writes a handwritten message, often accompanied by an encouraging little bit of artwork.liam-3Liam hopes to someday expand his philanthropy to include animal rescue.  A story his dad tells of one incident furthers our faith in Liam’s good heart …

His father remembers Liam’s first animal rescue: a bucket of 15 baitfish. Father and son had gone fishing. Liam watched his dad jab one small fish with a fishing hook. The boy held the bucket against his chest.  “I heard him tell the fish, ‘Don’t worry. It’s OK. I’m going to talk to him,’” Scott said.  Liam persuaded his father to throw every single baitfish back into the water, including the one on the hook so he could ‘be with his friends.’ “He’s just a wise soul for his age,” Scott said.

Now, Liam obviously has a huge heart and is a ‘good people’, but I think his dad, Scott, has to get some of the credit here, too.  Scott doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk, and Liam has grown up seeing the examples set by his dad.

“One time, Liam said, ‘Dad, did you just tell that lady she didn’t have to pay you?’ And I said, ‘Yes, she’s 90 and lives on her own and has no one to help. That $80 means nothing to me.’ He has learned like that, but he’s always been a very empathetic kid.”

Scott is a single parent, working at a mid-level job and lives in a rent-controlled building, so needless to say, there came a point early on in this venture where they needed help to pay for the groceries for the lunches Liam was handing out.

“That first week, we made 20 lunches. That was going to be it, but then Liam said, ‘Dad, can we do this again? I like doing this.’…So we kept doing it, and each week it grew a little bit more.”

So, they started a GoFundMe.   Over the weeks, donations poured in to help Liam’s Lunches of Love, and local grocery stores contributed meals, too. Friends and neighbors also volunteered their time to hand out bags, which freed Liam and Scott up to spend more time with each recipient and get to know them. And that experience has opened their eyes.

“Liam has learned a lot about the difference between what a real homeless person is like versus the idea he had in his head just from seeing people on the street. He realized they’re a lot different than he thought they were, and he’s grown up a little because of it.”

liam-1Liam and his Liam’s Lunches of Love have received national recognition from ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, the Boston Globe and others.  But the real honour came last month when Liam was one of five young people showcased on CNN’s “Young Wonders: A CNN Heroes Special” hosted by Anderson Cooper.  Take a look …

The five were also honoured the next night on “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute”.  As Anderson Cooper said at that event …

“The next generation reminds us of the unwavering foundation that really connects us all — incredible acts of kindness, unconditional love and the promise of a better tomorrow.”

liam-8I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Hats off and two thumbs up to Liam and his dad Scott … these are the people who remind us what humanity is really about, don’t you think?

For more about Liam, his dad and this project, be sure to check out the Liam’s Lunches of Love website.

35 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Liam and Scott Hannon

  1. Pingback: Good People Doing Good Things — ‘Round the World | Filosofa's Word

  2. I first came across Liam’s Lunches of Love through a Twitter post in 2017 and have been supporting them ever since. Liam is a champion, a hero’s hero. Even though he is involved in other extracurricular activies as well as his school’s theater program he still finds time to go out and feed the homeless every week as well as collect LEGOs and school supplies for children in need. He is a real trouper. I would recommend anyone and everyone to support Liam’s Lunches of Love in any way you can. One thing you can do if you can’t support them financially is decorate a bunch of lunch bags and put encouraging words on them and send them off to Liam as I and others have done. I’m sure they’d appreciate the help since it probably gets tedious doing it week after week and you’d inspire them with fresh ideas and it would bring out the budding artist hiding in you. So I looked up the word “awesome” in the dictionary and there was Liam’s picture. Really though, I am so proud of Liam and what he has accomplished in a couple years and will be a constant supporter. Liam is truly amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for being so supportive of this very worthy cause and the young man whose heart is in the right place. And your idea of decorating lunch bags to send to him is an awesome one! He is, indeed, an amazing young man!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this! I have been clinging to any example of compassion and humanity and your post helped mend my broken heart. It’s an ugly, cruel world out there but if we just keep being kind to one another, hopefully we can get through this. Love and light to you Jill.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just as soon as I saw the title of this post amidst my inbox I was excited, but did not say a word to Benjamin. Just as soon as he saw the photo at the top of the page, Benjamin was ecstatic…”Gem, we know about Liam don’t we!?” Indeed we do! It was in the late summer of 2017 that my youngest Daughter, a Massachusetts resident, discovered Liam’s acts of kindness having read about it in their local paper. She told me about it, as she knew this would be of great interest to me, and now my entire family (my Son is also a Mass. resident) are supporters. It should also be noted that Liam and Scott have collected school supplies for a self-help center in Cambridge, that distributes them to homeless children. Liam was the GoFundMe’s Kid Hero of the month in April 2018 and Benjamin loves that video ( we check out the kid heroes often)! Small children are like sponges, they absorb whatever is around them, whether it is good or bad. It is apparent that this little sponge was surrounded with all that is good and worthwhile. Well done Scott Hannon, he rates as the Father of the Year every year! Liam is a very remarkable and caring young man, we could use more adults that are of the same character. Thank-you x 2!!

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    • I thought you might be familiar with the story, as it seems to have been well-publicized, and it is in your neck-of-the-woods! But I had no idea you and your family were actually supporters of this great cause! And I’m so chuffed to hear that Benjamin recognized Liam right off! Awesome!!! I fully agree with you that Scott should be named Father of the Year! Oh, how I wish we had millions more like these two!

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      • Jill, it would seem that you and I have traversed many of the same paths in our lives, albeit thousands of miles apart. I noticed in your comment to Keith that you were briefly homeless with 3 children. When the husband was finding himself, I had to leave the house that I thought was “ours”, place all the furnishings into a storage facility and search for a rental. At the time no one thought that a single mother with 3 young children seemed a good risk and I was turned down at every apartment that I applied to. Just when it seemed that we would be living in my car, even the women’s shelter had turned me down as my life was not being threatened, they directed me to a motel. The owner of the motel was an elderly woman, her son and his family. They had a huge home behind the motel that was back from the highway in a rural setting. The motel catered mostly to businessmen passing through the area, no one was there more than a few nights. This kind woman, an angel of mercy, rented to us a very large unit with a tiny efficiency kitchen closest to her house…it seemed like heaven just then. We lived there for 5 months before I found an apartment that would rent to me. Her kindness in keeping watch over my brood, even opening her own home to them for supper when I was working the evening shift as well as night shift will never be forgotten. We visited her after moving out of the motel up to the day she died. I was fortunate that I could provide for my family on my own, but I have never forgotten the fear of finding myself in need and alone. Thank-you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh my dear Ellen! We do have so much in common! We have both seen the worst and the best of humanity, had to make our way in the world, not knowing where tomorrow’s meal was coming from. My hat is off to you for not giving up! My own homeless adventure did not last nearly as long, for a friend was friends with the owner of a trailer park, and she talked him into renting us a furnished trailer. I think this makes us soul sisters! Hugs, my dear friend! ❤

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  5. Jill, this is a terrific story. The homeless do not come in one shape and size. Most of the people the organization (I volunteer with) help are working mothers and children. So, when you meet one homeless person, you have met just one example. Liam should be commended. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Keith … I thought so too! You are so right, and frankly it can happen to any of us. I found myself with 3 children and no home many decades ago. Fortunately, I had friends and was only homeless for about 4 days, but … it was one of the most frightening things I’ve ever been through!

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    • They are truly a remarkable pair, aren’t they? If every parent set this sort of example for their children, hate and cruelty could disappear in a generation or two and we could have the world you and I have imagined.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great story, and a credit to humanity. Jill wrote yesterday of billionaires giving to charity, and I commented on how charity has to start by providing food and shelter to those below the poverty line. That is what Liam is doing, starting with the most vulnerable in society. I can remember when I lived on the streets, usually able to panhandle enough for one meal a day, when I was lucky. That meal was usually breakfast, sometimes supper, but never lunch. One of Liam’s Lunches of Love would have been fantastic.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nobody … absolutely nobody … should have to go hungry or live on the streets. There is so much wealth in the world that there simply is no excuse for homelessness and starvation. It is the most basic of all needs. That old saying, “charity begins at home” sounds trite, but it is so true … just look at these two … the son sees the dad’s kindness and compassion and follows suit. This story made me feel good about people for just a little while.

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