A 12-year old from Ohio and a disabled man in his community who’s undergoing chemotherapy have struck up an unlikely friendship after a random act of kindness from the young boy.
Raymond Butler is a middle school student who was riding his bike home from football practice one day when his tire went flat. As he slowed down, he saw Gary Barnes, whose leg has been amputated below the knee, riding on his mobility scooter as he pushed his lawnmower.
The boy stopped and offered to cut Barnes’s grass for him.
“He said, ‘I could mow your yard.’ I said, ‘Well, that would be nice. How much would you charge me to mow my grass?’ And, he replied shy and sheepishly, ‘Nothing, I’d do it for free.'”
Well Barnes wasn’t about to let Raymond mow the yard for free, so he ordered him a new inner tube for his bike tire and paid the boy $10.
“It was just a flat-out general random act of kindness that he bestowed upon me.”
Barnes, who has nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren himself, found out that Raymond lives with his grandparents who don’t have a car, so he drove the boy home and told him to come back later so that Barnes could show him how to change the tire on his bike.
And since then, Raymond still comes to visit Barnes and help him perform odd jobs around the house – and the two even go fishing twice a week.
Barnes also started a GoFundMe account to help Raymond buy new clothes for the upcoming school year, raising almost $1,000 within 24 hours. The campaign has now grown to nearly $3,000, with Barnes saying that whatever’s left over after Raymond gets his school clothes will be donated to help other young men buy clothes for school too.
The relationship is even more special for Barnes because he’s currently battling prostate cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. Said Barnes:
“I have so much knowledge to share. I feel I need to share it with someone. But I feel like I’m running out of time.”
Barnes says that Raymond’s like another grandchild to him:
“He helps me as much as I help him.”
And as for Raymond’s new school clothes? It looks like Barnes’s wife, Cheryl, took the boy on his shopping trip, with Barnes joking on his GoFundMe page:
“Just glad it’s not me.”
Man, it’s really nice to open up social media and see a story about something good every once in awhile.
Being kind really isn’t all that hard. But it seems like it can be pretty rare these days.