Teen's Act Of Kindness Does Double Duty To Help Struggling Families
What started as an effort to help a bullied classmate has spread to foster families all over the state.
Brayden Martin knows a thing or two about being bullied. He went through it himself over the years for a number of reasons.
“I don't come from a very wealthy family," the 14-year-old from Cincinnati, OH told WLWT-TV. “I've had to deal with struggles where I would get judged and bullied for my skin color, my clothes I wear, what brand it is."
That's why, when he saw it happening to one of his classmates at school, he knew he had to do something about it. He said the boy, whose name is Trehmil, had been getting bullied for years because he wore the same clothes a lot of the time, and he often lashed out in anger because of it.
“I know pain when I see it," Martin told Simplemost. “I could tell he was just expressing his pain through anger. I felt his pain on a mental level."
After the incident, Martin spent $60 of his own money to buy Trehmil a few new outfits, and he gave him some of his own clothes, too. He gathered everything in a nice duffel bag and surprised him with it at school.
The sweet moment was caught on video, and you can hear a shocked Trehmil say, “Really?" as Martin helps him check out the clothes.
The video quickly spread on social media and was picked up by The Shade Room , who shared it on their own Instagram account. Since it was posted, the video has gotten almost 400K likes and hundreds of encouraging comments, including one from actor Jo-jo Simmons.
Simmons wrote: “Seen this a few times with a couple kids that have done this and it makes me proud of this up & coming generation🙌🏾"
Along with giving Trehmil some new clothes, Martin started a GoFundMe campaign for the family with a goal of raising $400. Currently, the total raised is over $8,000.
Martin said the family didn't want to take the money and instead asked him to pay it forward, so he reached out to Hope's Closet, an organization that helps foster families get the resources they need to improve their lives.
Now, thanks to Martin's generous donation, at least 80 foster kids will get clothes and shoes for an entire year.
“Seeing what he has inside of him, I can't wait to see what he does with his life as he grows, wanting to serve in this capacity," Sarah Coleman, the executive director of Hope's Closet, told WKRC-TV .
Martin says he is happy to see how his kind gesture has inspired others to give. It's also motivated him to do more to help others in the future.
“I want to go farther in this and see where this goes, and I want to keep giving," he said.
Way to go, Martin! It just goes to show that one act of kindness can go a long way.
If you'd like to contribute to Martin's GoFundMe campaign for Hope's Closet, click here .