Bullied Texas Boy Met With Kindness And Support After Neighbors Raise $37k On GoFundMe
Kindness can be discovered in the most unexpected places, manifesting in surprising and wonderful ways. Being a kid can be hard, frustrating, and lonely, and not everybody greets them with smiling faces.
When a bullied Texas boy named Shayden Walker searched desperately for some friends, his neighbors stepped up and helped him in this heartwarming story.
A Knock On The Door
It was just an ordinary day in Amarillo, Texas for Brennan Ray and his wife, Angell. They were going about their daily lives when a knock on their door surprised them.
Caught on their doorbell camera outside was a boy standing at their steps who looked lost and nervous. Little did the couple know that they would change his life forever.
He Was Seeking Friendship
As a kid who frequently experienced bullying, Shayden Walker struggled with finding and making friends. He took matters into his own hands by going around his neighborhood and asking people if they had (or knew of) any kids who would be his friend.
Brennan was talking to Shayden – who was wearing a Jaws t-shirt – through the camera and asked if he knew of any kids in the neighborhood around 11 or 12. Naturally, Brennan’s heart broke for him.
“Needs Some Friends Really Bad”
Brennan says, “What’s up, man?” to Shayden. Shayden responds as he looks at the ground, “Hi. I just wanted to see if you knew any kids around like, 11 or 12, maybe, because I need some friends. Like, really bad.”
Next, Brennan directs him to a house down the street where some kids live. Shayden says, “Well, ummm, they’re not my friends anymore because they’re bullies to me.” Poor guy!
Shayden And Brennan Bond
Shayden proceeds to ask Brennan if he has kids. He responds that he does have a 2-year-old son. Shayden lights up at this response, clearly happy to hear it.
He says visibly excited, “That’s great. I actually…I love 2-year-olds, to be honest. They’re just the most cutest things I’ve ever known.” He goes on to share that he “used to have” a sister who was the same age. “She was a handful, but I really enjoyed having, having…spending time with her.”
The Conversation Continues
After Shayden reveals his name, Brennan says that he will say hello to him when he sees him around the neighborhood. Shayden ends the conversation with, “You have a good day” before walking away.
Brennan and Angell posted a follow-up TikTok that shows Shayden approaching their front door around a half-hour earlier but couldn’t muster up the courage to knock.
What Would Brennan And Angell Do?
The wonderful couple decided to help Shayden make some friends. They set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the sweet and shy kid.
Initially, their goal was $7,000 but ended up raising almost $40,000 overall. The support from the local community was overwhelming and the couple was humbled at how much people wanted to help out.
It Was A Huge Success
Brennan and Angel’s campaign earned over $37,000. The GoFundMe would help Shayden buy a gaming system, some school clothes, and even amusement park tickets. The funds will go directly to Shayden’s family.
In response to the immense support and blowing way past their goal, the couple said: “Thank you all for your generosity and kindness! We expected to see support from this community but we’re shocked and amazed by how everyone’s shown up for Shayden.”
An Update On The Campaign
The couple shared that they “decided to turn off donations while we coordinate with his family, but all funds will stay in the GoFundMe account until then. We will keep you updated along the way. Thank you! #kindnessmatters.”
After the TikTok of Shayden went viral with over 61 million views and the GoFundMe success, the couple, Shayden, and his mom appeared in an interview with KSAT 12.
Shayden’s Mom Reveals Her Son’s Struggles Before The Video
Before everything happened, Shayden shared how awful his experiences with being bullied were. “What my life was like before was kids were manipulating me and telling me that they will be my friend, but when they asked me to do something horrible I don’t feel like they’re actually my friend.”
Prior to the video, Shayden struggled with self-confidence and his mom revealed how much pain her son was holding in. “He flaps his arms and makes noises that a lot of people have made fun of…He told me ‘I just deal with the pain of just holding it in so that I don’t get made fun of.”
“Be The One To Stand Out”
Brennan shared his insights about bullying: “If you can be the one to stand out and help somebody else set that trend, make that the trend to be set to not be bullied.” Setting a trend of kindness and compassion can change another person’s life completely.
Shayden’s story and Brennan’s words are important and need to be taken seriously. Shayden’s mom said that her son has even been hospitalized “because the bullying was so bad.” She also said that he was really “isolated.”
Spreading The Message Of Kindness
The moral of this heartwarming story is to always act with compassion and be an advocate for those without a voice. Shayden’s message to everyone is: “How would you like it if someone were to bully you? How would that make you feel?”
Certainly, the incredible warmth and kindness of Brennan and Angell leave us optimistic. Shayden’s tale is one that should be remembered and taken into consideration when faced with similar circumstances!
Another Heartwarming Story
While the world can be cruel and unjust, there are many incredible stories of people who have kind hearts and help others in need. Here is a story of a bullied kid who was going through a hard time and was given the chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
A 9-year-old boy’s world was forever changed when he was offered to spend the day in one of the greatest cities on earth: New York City.
Michael Martinez Was About To Get A Big Surprise
On one of his school’s career days, a 9-year-old disabled boy Michael Martinez from Houston, Texas was thrown from his wheelchair by a bully. The bully shook Michael and tossed him out of his chair.
He was dressed like a police officer, one of his heroes, and hopes to one day become an officer himself. Upon learning of this awful incident, Blue Lives Matter NYC police officers planned to take Michael on a trip around NYC for a few days.
Michael Got The Royal Treatment
The police officers took Michael on a special day trip, showing him around NYC. Not only did Michael meet Mayor Eric Adams and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, but they also got pizza and attended roll call at a Staten Island NYPD station house.
Joseph Imperatrice, the founder of Blue Lives Matter NYC, shared with The New York Post that Michael is “absolutely special.” They wanted “to give him a front-row ticket to the greatest show on earth: seeing New York City.”
The ultimate mission of the non-profit organization is to help kids and families of police officers in need. “We want to help kids going through a hard time,” Imperatrice said.
Michael – whose cerebral palsy was caused by premature birth at 27 weeks – went to Times Square with the police and the Detective Endowments Association’s headquarters.
Michael Had His Heroic Moment
In February 2021, Michael became a hero for a moment. Reportedly, he saved some of his family members from a carbon monoxide leak. He took action in the middle of the night by crawling into their bedroom and telling them a detection device had gone off.
While Michael experienced a very heroic point in his life and saved his family, he eventually would fall prey to horrific bullying.
The Bullying Began One Year Later
Unfortunately, the following year at school, Michael began to experience difficult times when a student started to pick on him, his mother, Angie, shared. “[The bully] just kind of put his hands on him, shook him a little bit and kind of threw him to the side off of his wheelchair,” she said.
After local cops – even the Houston Police Department – found out about the incident, they gave Michael a special tour of their vehicles. In addition to that, they also visited him for lunch in March 2022.
Lots Of People Look Up To Michael
Michael’s story didn’t go unnoticed. Imperatrice said, “After seeing what happened to Michael, there are a lot of people in New York and Texas who look up to him.”
His bravery and heroism were admired by so many people. Without a doubt, Michael is a courageous young man who faced adversity.
Two Heartwarming Stories
Shayden Walker and Michael Martinez, who were both victims at the hands of bullies, stayed strong and received acts of kindness from strangers. Even though their stories are slightly different, the underlying message of how important compassion and kindness are no matter what rings true.
Kind souls Brennan Ray and Angel helped Shayden become the most confident version of himself. The police officers of Blue Lives Matter NYC made Michael’s day by showing him around the city and making him feel special.