Pleasanton Teen to Carry Olympic Torch

Sarah Williams of Pleasanton was chosen for her charitable work with foster children

Sarah Williams of Pleasanton was chosen to be one of the 8,000 Olympic torchbearers in the 2012 London Olympics as an honor for her work with making blankets for foster children.

The 19-year-old Williams is away at Scripps College in Claremont, but she spoke with NBC Bay Area Wednesday morning over Skype.

"I am so honored and grateful to be selected," Williams said, adding that she hopes her 15 minutes brings more attention to "forgotten children."

Her mother, Cindy Williams, added: "The Olympic torch is all about hope... and Sarah believes foster kids need hope."

Williams has long volunteered at Foster a Dream in Martinez.  When she was a freshman in high school, Williams read a story about a foster child who was denied a warm blanket, and she became determined to have all 800 students at her school make a fleece blanket for foster children by Christmas, including teaching the football team how to make the blankets, according to

She began fundraising, turning to companies for help. Her project has now touched the lives of 10,000 foster children and countless volunteers. She's raised more than $80,000 and introduced the project in six states. This month, she led 20,000 Girl Scouts from all over the world in making blankets so they can introduce the project back home, according to her nomination letter.

Williams was one of 22 American torch bearers named Tuesday by Coca Cola, people chosen for having made a difference in the world. Ten of those 22 were also teens.

She is expected to carry the torch July 9 in Buckingham.

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