SAN ANTONIO – At first glance, you’d think Cynthia Hornsby is Jordan Williams’ mother. They both have bright eyes and ready grins. They both look to put others before themselves.
"There's something about her spirit, her aura,” Williams said. “It's so compelling.”
But Hornsby and Williams only met recently.
“She welcomed me into her home (and) gave me a bed to sleep on,” Williams said. “She gave me a room and she cooks for me very often and she supports me for everything I do, like football. I am now an ordained minister and she comes to (hear) my sermons.”
Williams, a Trinity University football player from Houston, lost his mother to breast cancer when he was 11. Despite his scholarship, when he arrived at Trinity, he had nowhere to stay.
He said his first stop was the Salvation Army. His next stop was Mount Zion Baptist Church.
"As soon as I walked in, they had Bible study and I met Cynthia, (who) gave me her Bible study pamphlet and I started reading and I was like, ‘Wow, this woman is awesome!’” Williams said.
They soon became close, with Hornsby acting as a surrogate mother to Williams.
“I can see my mom through her and that's amazing,” Williams said. "She gave me a red velvet cake — my favorite cake — and had candles on there. I don’t remember the last time someone gave me a cake with candles on it since I was the age of 7 or 8. It's been wonderful. She’s been that mother that I needed.”
Williams shared another part of Hornsby’s story. He said she is now without a lot of her clothes because she’s lost more than 200 pounds.
"She gave all of the clothes to the church and now she's left with six outfits,” he said.
He reached out to KSAT 12 Community’s Holiday Helpers to help him show the woman who he calls Mom how much she’s appreciated by him and his late mother.
Along with KSAT 12 Community’s partners Security Service Federal Credit Union, Corner Store and University Health System, Dillard’s at North Star Mall and Indulgence Salon teamed up to give Hornsby a full makeover, and provided her with several new outfits.
“(My mother) would tell Cynthia if she was here, ‘Cynthia, I thank you for all that you are doing for my son and I thank you for being my replacement — what I couldn't do, what I can't do right now. I thank you for taking that spot,'" Williams said.