A Texas couple has raised nearly $40,000 for a bullied child who knocked on their door looking for some friends in a heartbreaking moment caught on doorbell camera.
Brennan Ray and Angell Hammersmith started the GoFundMe last Wednesday in hopes of making Shayden Walker’s summer after Ray posted the video.
It showed the boy approaching their home in Amarillo and asking if they knew any boys between the ages of 11 and 12 because he “badly needs some friends.”
Walker, wearing a Jaws T-shirt, explains that some neighborhood kids had been bullying him.
Since then, the video has been viewed more than 66 million times, with TikTokers from around the world commenting that they hope she finds “REAL friends soon” and saying “I’ve never wanted to hug a child so much in my life.”
Walker’s father now says Shayden is a ‘totally different kid’ than he was last week, while the boy said in a video posted to his dad’s TikTok page that ‘You all have touched my heart so much. , is literally to the point. where I want to cry.’
Shayden Walker knocked on his neighbors’ doors in Amarillo, Texas last week looking for friends.
Owner Brennan Ray, left, posted the doorbell camera footage to TikTok and he and his wife, Angell Hammersmith, decided to start a GoFundMe for the bullied boy.
In doorbell cam footage posted online Wednesday, Ray could be heard asking the boy “What’s up, man?” when Walker approaches his door.
At that point, the boy replies: ‘Hello. I just wanted to see if you knew any 11 or 12 year olds maybe because I need some friends. Very badly.
Ray then directed Walker to a house down the street, where he said he knew two boys lived.
But Walker replies, “Well, uh, they’re not my friends anymore because they bully me.”
He then decides to ask Ray if he has children, to which the homeowner says he does, but his daughter is only 2 years old.
“Oh, okay, that’s great,” Walker replies hopefully. “To be honest, I love 2-year-olds, they are the cutest things I’ve ever met,” he told her how she enjoyed playing with her younger sister when she was 2 years old.
Instead, Ray promises to say hello to the boy whenever he sees him in town.
“Okay, have a nice day,” Walker says before leaving.
A follow-up video posted to Ray’s account showed Walker approaching the house about half an hour earlier, but running away.
In that video, Ray says that he and his wife would start a GoFundMe for the boy “to help him set up a drug kit, some school clothes.” [and] tickets for amusement parks.
‘Let’s get together and show him that he has some friends.’
The online fundraiser raised more than $37,000 for the boy and his family before Walker’s mother asked to stop the donations on Friday.
The fundraiser had raised more than $37,000 for the boy and his family before Walker’s mother asked to stop the donations on Friday.
Many people from around the world also shared their support for the boy, with one man commenting: ‘Shayden, you are a strong boy. No one deserves to be bullied or mocked.
“You are incredibly brave for going out and actively looking for friends instead of staying at home.
“I know you’re young, but the best advice I can give you is that you don’t need validation from anyone other than yourself to know your worth,” the man commented. ‘If you love yourself, you will never be alone.’
Another person added: ‘This child, like many, is special and just wants a place in this world… this family shared a memorable moment with the world and it was beautiful!
‘Our children need genuine kindness.’
After closing the GoFundMe on Friday, Ray and Hammersmith posted another video saying they didn’t expect the level of support “at all,” noting that they only had an initial goal of $7,000.
“We are grateful to be able to do this for this young man and we are grateful for all of you,” the couple said, with Hammersmith noting that they were trying to schedule a time to meet with the boy.
They also said Walker’s mother has stopped the donations, but the money will remain in GoFundMe until she says otherwise.