HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Santalorian has traveled from a galaxy far, far away to visit the Ronald Mcdonald House on Oahu as his last stop delivering presents to those in need in all 50 states.
Yuri Williams dressed up as the Santalorian — inspired by Star Wars — for the 2021 holiday season. He and his brother, Rodney Smith Jr, traveled 17,000 miles across the United States with gifts to help children and families with special needs, disabilities or who battling illnesses; veterans; homeless individuals; as well as animals in shelters.
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Their 50-state Hand of Hope tour began in Kentucky on Nov. 26 and will end in Hawaii on Dec. 20. This marks the third year Williams has dressed up as a superhero to make a difference in other people’s lives. For the first year, he dressed up as Spiderman; the second year he was Deadpool.
Williams started doing this as a way to emotionally recover after losing his mother to cancer. His goal is to be a blessing, bring smiles and joy to others and inspire everyone of all ages to channel their inner superhero.
“If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us, it’s that at our core, we really are more alike than we are different. Everyone has been affected by COVID in some way. We often think we have to be wealthy to give back, but you don’t have to be wealthy — just willing,” said Williams.
On Oahu, they visited the Ronald Mcdonald House in Manoa, which is a home away from home for families whose keiki are being treated at Oahu hospitals.
“It’s going to provide a very special Christmas to two families that are currently staying here in our home. One family is here with multiple kids. There’s another family here with a newborn,” explained Gary Permenter of the Ronald McDonald House. It’s going to make a world of difference this Christmas for them.”
The journey and the toys were paid for through donations. Those who would like to follow can visit their Instagram here.
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Williams added baby Yoda has accompanied him to every state, and he made sure that everyone got one.