The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Ishan Mandani as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight's game against the New York Islanders. Mandani, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Morton Plant Mease Foundation, the Our Aim Foundation, Inc. and the Suncoast Hospice.
Mandani developed a passion for the elderly ever since the early age of nine years old. He would visit them at hospices after they recently got discharged from hospitals, bringing them books, CDs, blankets and other items from his own savings. He would listen to their stories and be energized by their smiles. Mandani's compassion towards the sick and elderly grew with his age and he decided to initiate an intergenerational program called the Grand-Kids Program. The program was designed to help younger people deal with the common challenges that the elderly go through on a daily basis.
His passion and conviction convinced organizations like Red Cross, Hospice, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, high schools and several assisted living centers to partner with his program and develop compassion training manuals. These manuals help youths experience the challenges of being a senior by maneuvering a wheelchair, walk with blurred vision and opening medicine bottles. Mandani has motivated and convinced more and more youths to experience the magic of intergenerational bonding.