JC Lewis wanted to do something to thank essential workers who continue on the job during the coronavirus pandemic.

So the 13-year-old from Rocky Mount decided to give Walmart gift cards to first responders, health care and other front-line workers as a way to say thank you.

“Giving back to the people on the front line during COVID-19 expresses compassion, which is needed during these tough times,” JC said. “My hope is this small token of appreciation places a smile on the recipient’s face.”

JC and his dad, Chris Lewis, started a father-son mentorship program, called JC’s Journey, about two years ago. JC said the program began through the relationships he formed over his years playing quarterback in the Offense-Defense Football program.

“Being a quarterback puts you in a leadership role and allows you to connect with other kids from different backgrounds,” JC said. “The mentor program teaches young men the difference between right and wrong by leading by example. Characteristics of the program are God-fearing, integrity, good grades, morals, manners and compassion.”

For more information or to donate to the effort, go to JC’s Journey on Facebook.