Kindness always wins.

Kindness comes in all forms – and at all ages. And a 12-year-old has gone viral for a touching act of kindness. 

Romello “Mello” Early and Melvin Anderson are students in the seventh grade at Buffalo Creek Academy Charter School in Buffalo, New York. Mello had noticed that Melvin was being picked on by fellow classmates because of the old sneakers he was wearing. 

Some of Melvin’s peers mocked him for being dirty, which “made me feel sad, mad and very disliked,” Melvin told the Washington Post.

Distress Leads to Action

Mello was distressed about the bullying and how poorly his friend was being treated, even calling his mom from school crying. Mello’s mother, Anita James, asked him what happened at school and he told her, “I just really need to talk to you because my friend is getting bullied and I’m tired of it.”

“It just put a real ache in my stomach to see somebody have to go through that,” Mello told WGRZ.

Mello later explained the situation to his mother and had an idea on how to help with the problem. He wanted to buy a new pair of shoes for Melvin and wanted to use his allowance money to pay for them. Mello’s kindness didn’t end there – he proposed foregoing his Christmas presents to purchase a new pair of shoes for his friend instead.

Anita happily agreed to help Mello purchase the new shoes for Melvin and he used $135 he had saved from his allowance to buy a pair of black-and-white Nike Dunks. 

The next day, Mello gave the shoes to Melvin who said he was a mix of happy, shocked and grateful for the unexpected gift.

Shortly after Mello gifted the shoes to Melvin, he was called into the classroom of Bryant Brown Jr., the Dean of Culture at Buffalo Creek Academy.

An Act of Kindness Touches the World

Brown saw Melvin with the Nike box in his classroom and asked about it, only to discover that it was a pair of brand-new shoes. When Brown asked where Melvin gotten the shoes, he revealed that his friend Mello had bought the shoes for him, a gesture that made Brown “get teary.”

Mello told WGRZ that he sympathizes with Melvin being picked on and had experienced bullying himself. “All the grades I went through, I was picked on because of my height,” the boy said. 

“And the way it made me feel, I just thought … nobody else should have to go through that feeling,” he added.

Brown took a photo of the friends posing side-by-side with Melvin holding the new pair of Nike shoes to celebrate the touching moment. Brown later shared the photo on his Facebook page with the message, “My student Mello told me he was tired of other students picking on Melvin about his shoes. Melo used his allowance and bought Melvin some shoes.”

The post went viral on Facebook, earning over 22,000 likes and 18,000 shares. Brown didn’t expect his post to gain so much attention and said “We truly think it was a kind gesture that I haven’t seen ever in my life. I’ve seen it on YouTube, and I see acts of kindness with students all around this world, but for it to happen at Buffalo Creek, I was lost for words.”

“Just Treat Everybody With Kindness”

Brown, Mello, and Melvin’s family are amazed by the global response to the story.

Melvin’s father, Wesley Anderson, said that he hadn’t gotten the full story on his son’s new pair of shoes. When Melvin came home with new sneakers, he initially told his dad the shoes no longer fit his friend, so he had given them to him. Anderson ended up getting the full story when Brown called with news of the response his post was getting on social media. 

At first, Anderson wasn’t sure how to react. He understood how much words can hurt, saying “they’re not aware that what they’re saying is having an effect on other kids. That’s where the bullying comes in and they’re not really aware of that.”

Anderson hopes that the act of kindness from Mello to Melvin is contagious.

“Just treat everybody with kindness instead of trying to ridicule the other child, because they never know what their parents are going through – a financial situation, mental situation, or whatever the case may be,” he said. “I just hope that that spreads around. I don’t hope everybody buys everybody a pair of sneakers, but instead of being mean and telling jokes, just console one another. Lift everybody up.”

Mello agreed with Anderson and added to “treat someone the way you want to be treated, because God always gives back for good deeds. I just wish people would treat other people better.”

Brown hopes that other kids will take away the same message from the act of kindness and learn a lesson in goodwill.

“Teach your kids to be very kind to one another so that you can have a good atmosphere at school and the culture of school can be a great and peaceful place so that kids can feel comfortable going to school,” he said. “We want to try build a foundation within our school to make sure that kids won’t ever feel like they don’t want to go to school. We can help them, just like Mello helped Melvin.”