An 11-year-old boy from El Paso responded to the recent shooting on Aug. 3 by starting the “El Paso Challenge,” with the help of his mother. The goal of the social media campaign is to encourage people to give back and spread kindness, in order to bring about healing.
Rose Gandarilla posted a photo of her son, Ruben, on Twitter, and a picture of his plan for the El Paso Challenge. The goal: honor the people killed in their city. The idea: challenge each person in El Paso to do 20 good deeds.
Ruben jotted down a few examples such as mowing someone’s lawn, visiting a nursing home, paying for someone’s lunch or dinner, taking flowers to the hospital, or simply telling someone how great they are.
“How to convince everyone to join the El Paso challenge: Hold up posters, pass out flyers, send it to Facebook,” Ruben’s note read, as reported by CBS News. “This will show the world people from El Paso are kind and care for each other.”
Ruben’s idea was successful: In about a day, more than 1,400 people were talking about the El Paso Challenge via Twitter. Almost 3,000 people shared his mom’s Facebook post.
Ruben Gandarilla’s challenge. Photo from Rose Gandarilla’s Facebook page.
Many people on social media, from Texas and other areas, started pledging 20 random acts of kindness with the El Paso Challenge hashtag.
Ruben didn’t just challenge strangers on social media—he also shared his idea in person. When he was in Taco Bell with his mother, he came up to a group of people and explained the challenge.
“This courageous young man came up to us at Taco Bell and challenged us to make El Paso a better place, the challenge is to do 20 good deeds in memory of the 20 who were killed in the Walmart shooting,” El Paso native Chris Castaneda wrote on Facebook, sharing a photo of his group with Ruben. “I challenge you to fulfill this challenge and share this on your page to challenge others.”
Some on social media who took up the challenge decided to pledge 22 acts of kindness – one for each victim of the shooting that happened in an El Paso Walmart.
Prosecutors are initiating a civil rights hate crime investigation and domestic terrorism charges. They will seek the death penalty for the suspect.
Read the CBS News story here.
A little boy’s heart became glad after he mailed a birthday card to his dad in heaven; astonished to have gotten a response.
7-year-old Jade Hyndman from West Lothian, Scotland mailed this card as a way to say happy birthday to his father who died four years ago.
Instead of writing an address on the front envelope, Jase simply wrote:
“Mr. Postman, can you take this to heaven for my dad’s birthday. Thanks.”
Assistant delivery office manager Sean Milligan from the UK’s Royal Mail Service could have ignored the response or disposed of the request, but decided to write a kind response, assuring the boy the card was in great care.
“Dear Jase,” read the letter. “While we’ve been delivering your post, we’ve become aware of some concerns.
“So I just wanted to take this opportunity to contact you about how we succeeded in the delivery of your letter, to your dad in heaven. This was a difficult challenge avoiding stars and other galactic objects on route to heaven.”
Concluding with: “I will continue to do all I can to ensure delivery to heaven safely.”
Jase and his mother, Teri Copland, were overjoyed by the compassionate gesture.
“I actually cannot state how emotional he is knowing his dad got his card,” Copland wrote in her Facebook post. “You didn’t have to make the effort to do this, you could have just ignored it, but the fact that you made the effort for a little boy you’ve never met is such a lovely thing to do for Royal Mail.”
“It honestly means the world to him,” the post continued. “Please share this so all the staff at Royal Mail know just how grateful we are.”
Over the course of two days, this post has been shared over 220,000 times. People around the world are also praising Royal Mail’s careful “delivery” of the letter to heaven.
Copland concluded her praise to Royal mail writing, “Royal Mail, you’ve just restored my faith in humanity and thank you… Merry Christmas.”
Someone once said, “There’s no age limit when it comes to friendship.” For officer Ronald Saladin there was no limit.
School Resource Officer Ronald Saladin, 29, first became best friends with 6-year-old Braylon Henson after finding out about his genetic disorder.
The first-grader suffers from ectodermaldysplasia, which is a condition that does not allow him to have sweat glands. With this condition, Henson cannot go outside if the temperature is above 74 degrees Fahrenheit because he may overheat.
Lately, Braylon has had to stay inside during recess ever since he started first-grade at Bay Minette Elementary School.
According to an article printed in Good Morning America, mother Jamie Wright said, “Right now it’s extremely hot, so he hasn’t been out at all.”
Despite not going out, Braylon gets to have fun with some drum pads and officer Saladin.
“He hangs out with Miss. Stewart, his counselor, she is so awesome with him. They bought him little drum pads, he’ll play on those and they would read.”
Eventually the friendship with the officer sparked when Braylon went to the counselor’s office and Ronnie Saladin, the school resource officer questioned, why the boy was not outside during recess.
“I didn’t understand why he was in there everyday,” Saladin told “GMA.” “She said he had a skin condition and he would cry sometimes and feel left out. I said, Well, he’s not going to feel left out. He’s going to walk with me.”
The friendship ignited popularity for Braylon among his peers. Saladin even brought Braylon a little police officer’s uniform, so he could look the part for their patrolling through school.
Braylon assists Saladin in looking for safety issues on the school grounds and writes “tickets” for teachers and students who are breaking minor rules.
“When they’re running in the hallways, he will yell at them and keep order,” Saladin said, laughing. “He’s very smart and even though he has that skin condition, he’s really positive. He has a lot of talent. He wants to be a drummer and I feel like he’s going to be very intelligent.”
Before Braylon started first grade, his mother was worried if Braylon would get bullied for his condition. After she also expressed her concern, Saladin wanted to ease her concern and be a pal to Braylon.
“He felt left out, and I didn’t want him to feel out. His mom was afraid he was going to get picked on and bullied when he came to school, Saladin told News WKGR. “It’s definitely a blessing, like it was meant to be.”