Okemos man pledges to give $200,000 to do-gooders in the Greater Lansing area by Jan. 1

Local philanthropist pledges to gift people with $200,000 by J
Posted at 9:07 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 16:30:09-05

LANSING, Mich. — He’s done well for himself and now a Okemos real estate broker is looking to give back to his community by putting cash into the hands of folks who need it.

“We forget about people other than ourselves. So I make it a goal quite literally every year to reel it back get, get out of my bubble and there’s a lot of people who need help and if you can help them, help them,” said Mike Williams, a real estate broker.

He says he’s been blessed and wants to share that with others, so for the last six years he’s been making big donations to local charities.

This year, he wanted to do something a little different, so he posted a video on Facebook asking for nominations for folks in greater Lansing who may need a little extra help.

He says he's already received hundreds of nominations.

“Its really like the trifecta," he said. "It's like, if someone is going through a tough time, volunteers their time and does all these things for the community but doesn’t ask for anything in return or maybe something happened to them this year."

Williams says he's given away about $130,000 so far.

One of the recipients was Geronimo Lerma, who runs Footprints of Michigan. He devotes all of his time to making sure people in need have free shoes and boots, but doesn’t collect a salary and lives out of his office.

And he's now facing a health challenge and recently had to start dialysis.

When he started Footprints of Michigan, he said, "I left my full time job and it ended up consisting of if you have no income you’re struggling. So my main goal was to get Footprints of Michigan off the ground and running."

Williams called it "incredible. Its absolutely incredible. So I gave him $5000 and I’m going to put him up in a hotel room for the rest of the year. The guy has been sleeping in his office for two and a half years."

Williams says he wants to create his own nonprofit, but, in the meantime, he’s still taking nominations for this year.

You can reach out to Williams via Facebook or Twitter.

Nominations to Mike Williams via Facebook.
Nominations to Mike Williams via Instagram

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