Kids & Family

Sixth Grader Starts El Paso Challenge to Honor Victims

Find out how you can help spread his cause


The El Paso community is struggling to return to normal life after last weekend's tragic mass shooting at a local Walmart.

One young man, who has been experiencing anxiety since the shooting happened, has come up with an idea to encourage kindness, both as a way to cope and to celebrate the victims who lost their lives.

Ruben and his mother, Rose

(Source: Rose Gandarilla Facebook )

After talking about it with his mother, 11-year-old Ruben Martinez III created the #ElPasoChallenge to encourage others to perform 22 acts of kindness, one for each of the victims of the shooting (the amount was increased from 20 when two more victims died in the hospital).

Ruben's mother, Rose Gandarilla, posted her son's handwritten note (pictured below) explaining the challenge to her Facebook page, along with some examples:

(Source: Rose Gandarilla Facebook )

"Examples: mow someone's lawn, visit a nursing home, pay for someone's lunch or dinner, donate to families in need, write someone a letter and tell them how great they are, hold the door for everyone, comfort someone when they are sad or stressed, take flowers to someone in the hospital, leave a dollar on the vending machine for the next person, and any other random act of kindness."

Gandarilla's post has been shared over 3,000 times, and people all over the country have accepted the challenge.

Ruben also distributed flyers for his challenge to local businesses, including an El Paso Taco Bell. An employee shared the interaction on social media:

(Source: Chris Castaneda Facebook )

How can YOU spread Ruben's message of kindness in your own community?

Sparkt encourages you to take part in the #ElPasoChallenge. You can share your acts of kindness in the comments section of this article, or you can post them to our Facebook page. Be sure to use the hashtag #ElPasoChallenge in your post.

We can't wait to see how you'll tackle the challenge of creating more kindness!

How can you start something good?
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