Bullied Little Boy Begs Neighbors to Help Him Find Friends – Looking At His Plight, They Raise $40K for Him
One boy had no idea what kind of kindness he was about to find.
Unfortunately, bullying is still pretty common in the United States. Nearly one out of every five students (about 20%) report being bullied during the school year.
Being bullied in your neighborhood is just as rough because no one wants to be uncomfortable or feel unwelcome in their own community.
That’s how one little boy was feeling when he began ringing on neighborhood doorbells in Texas recently. Dejected from the continuous bullying, he was in search of friends — fast.
A Desperate Plight
In July, 11-year-old Shayden Walker rang the doorbell of his neighbors Brennan and Angell Ray. He was looking for friends. “I just wanted to see if you knew any kids who are like, 11, 12, maybe cause I need some friends,” he said. “Really bad.”
In the video, which Brennan later posted on TikTok, you can hear the father explaining how a couple of kids live a few houses over. “Ok, well, they’re not my friends anymore because they’re bullies to me. They keep bullying me,” Shayden explained.
He then offered to be friends with Brennan and Angell’s two-year-old. Touched, Brennan promised that if he saw Shayden around, he would stop and chat with him. But he knew he needed to do more. So he and Angell started a GoFundMe to help this kid find some friends.
“My main thing, I was thinking of Shayden. I was thinking about how this is going to make this kid’s summer, it’s going to change his life possibly, so he was like really what was on my mind, just making sure that he’s happy and can make some friends,” Brennan told an ABC News outlet.
The Situation Goes Viral
@brennanray Its takes 2 seconds to make someones day, you never know what people are going through until you get a chance to talk to them. This young man is well mannered, kind, and brave. So tiktok can we help shayden make some friends???#fyp #bekind #nobullying #love #kindness #letschangetheworld ♬ original sound – Brennan Ray
The video touched a lot of other people as well, and the story quickly went viral. Within the first hour of posting the GoFundMe link, they had raised $2,000. The initial goal was $7,000, as Brennan and Angell figured they might be able to help Shayden get a gaming system and some new clothes or maybe even a couple of amusement park tickets.
Five hours later, however, they had already raised $10,000.
“Before I could get off work, we had passed $20,000, and so it was honestly, it was mind-blowing how fast it happened,” Angell said. “We were honestly hoping to get to Shayden and his parents before they had seen it, but it had gone so viral that there was no way.”
When Shayden’s mom, Krishna Patterson, saw the video, she was thankful for the neighbors who wanted to help her son.
“When I was able to see the video and see the pain in Shayden’s eyes, I realized that these people were just good-hearted, literal walking angels who wanted to do something good for a boy they saw in pain,” she told the outlet.
Putting the Money to Good Use
As touched as Krishna was, she knew there were other families and kids out there who needed the money more than her son did. So she asked the couple to turn the fundraiser off, but not before it reached nearly $40,000.
“After I and Shayden talked about it, we agreed to donate some of that,” Krishna added, explaining the funds would go towards tornado victims and to the war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, others have responded in really sweet ways. Whataburger’s official account offered to send Shayden and his new friends to get something to eat on them. Howie Mandel reached out. Jake Paul reached out and is interested in having Shayden catch a fight and do a meet-and-greet. Many random people have offered to help send him to Disney, and even more reached out with offers to help him forge new friendships through camps, classes, and sports.
For Brennan, the entire experience was a lesson in compassion and understanding.
“Easily, I can say off top don’t ever judge anybody by how they look, how they talk, how they act, because you never know what somebody is going through, you never know the struggles that are going on within themselves, at home, so just be kind to everybody and be aware of the situation,” he said.
Everyone Can Make a Difference
The biggest takeaway for Angell was how it only took a couple of people to make a big difference in one little boy’s life. “We are just two normal people in Amarillo, Texas, so just one person having the courage to step out and ask for friends leads to another person having the courage to step out and ask and spread awareness on bullying, so it’s just been a great chain reaction of amazing things happening,” she said.
It’s proof that if you want to make a difference, all you need is yourself. By being brave and speaking up, you can inspire many others with your words and resilience.
If you see something wrong, don’t be afraid to step in for what is right. If the situation seems dangerous, call for help. And most importantly, remember that one person can make a difference by listening, helping others, and using their skills for good.
Brennan and Angell did exactly that when one little boy came knocking, and they inspired a nation as a result.
More from Goalcast:
- Teen Finds Out His Classmates Are Bullying His Best Friend for His Old Shoes – So He Saves Up $135 and Does This
- Grocery Store Worker Completely Changes This Lonely Widower’s Christmas After She Invited Him to Dinner