Find Friends: the story of a Texas boy who rang his neighbor's doorbell with such a request20.07.2023 | 20:10 |
The sincerity of this 11-year-old Texas boy, who came to the neighbors' house and asked if they knew children in the area because he really needed new friends, conquered millions of people on the Internet.
A touching conversation between Shayden Walker and his neighbor Brennan Ray was filmed using a security camera in the doorbell and caused a viral storm of friendship offers on social media.
"Mm, I just wanted to know if you know any of the kids aged 11 or 12, maybe," the boy can be heard saying in the video. "I need friends, really badly."
Ray suggests some kids in their Amarillo, Texas neighborhood, but Shayden replies that he doesn't see them anymore "because they're bullies."
Ray then says that if Shayden wanted to, he could play with his daughter, but she is only 2 years old, to which the young man replies: "Oh, great! I love 2-year-olds, to be honest, they are the cutest creatures I've ever known."
Ray was impressed by Shayden's honesty and behavior and went to TikTok to try to solve his problem.
"You never know what people are going through until you have the opportunity to talk to them. This young man is well-mannered, kind and brave. So, TikTok, can we help Shayden make friends?" is how Ray captioned the video, which has racked up a staggering 69 million views.
"I thought I could post this video and some locals would see it and help me," he said in an interview with USA Today.
Shayden has been diagnosed with several mental disorders, and his mom said he always had problems with friends, but after the TikTok video, he now has friends in China, the UK, Hawaii and Australia.
At first, Shayden's mom admits, she thought that the video would cause even more ridicule of the boy. "When that didn't happen, the relief that swept over me and the sheer joy that people were really showing compassion was huge," she said.
Shayden also spoke to USA Today and shared that he wanted to visit the Ray's house because one day their dog ran into his yard, and when the neighbors came for her, they seemed like good people.
Brennan Ray and his wife thought they could use all the fame to help Shayden, so they organized a GoFundMe that raised $37,000 for everything he wants—a point stipulated in the fundraising. The families became very close after that, and Shayden really plays with their daughter, despite all his new friends.
The viral video showed a common experience of loneliness for many people, including those children who, because of their characteristics, are bullied by their peers. And the other day, the public of Amarillo – neighbors and fellow countrymen of the boy who accidentally became famous - gathered for an anti- bullying event, uniting in the city park under the motto "Shine like Shayden".
"We organized this event to raise awareness about bullying and become the voice of those who do not dare to stand up for themselves. We are trying to develop the courage to resist bullying by reaching out to people and communicating with them," the organizers say.