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Kids Helping Kids: It Does Happen More Often Than We Ever Know

Updated on October 25, 2017
pstraubie48 profile image

Patricia is a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a daughter whose passion is to put into writing things she feels and experiences.

Just as sunshine is bursting through the clouds, Matt was undaunted as his classmates cheered him on.

The beauty of children encouraging each other  resonates above us.
The beauty of children encouraging each other resonates above us. | Source

No one ever said our walk on this planet would be easy. No one told us that we would not have to face difficult challenges that would test us to our limit.

For many of us, these difficult times force us to dig down deep and find the reserve that is there that will keep us grounded and determined to overcome and continue.

There is no doubt that the young man featured in this article chose to believe that he is stronger than any affliction that can come his way.

What a loud and powerful message that sends to us!! How. can we not be stronger than what befalls us if he can set such an example for us??

My grandson like Matt has faced serious illness since his birth. Like Matt he has learned to dance in the rain...rather than waiting for the rain to stop, he has learned to make the best of whatever has come his way. He truly has taught many of us how to live. Matt's story is another lesson in living life today..not waiting for storms or adversity to pass.

Making a difference

When I first read this article, I knew that it was a story that I needed to tell. Unfortunately we do not read stories like this every day. For sure things like this do happen more often than we know. They just do not get reported.

We do need to read more stories like this. There are many ---we just do not hear about all of them. This story helps to restore my faith in the power of the human spirit and reminds me that it takes courage to overcome obstacles. The players in this article inspired each other.

Inspiration and courage have a way of bringing out the best in each of us. A renewed sense of belief in the inner strength of some individuals, their courage, often inspires those involved to respond in unusual, unexpected ways.

A group of amazing kids who made a difference in each other's lives is the focus of this article.This is not my story. It is a story I read in the Gainesville Sun. It had been an Associated Press article. It is the kind of story that needs telling and retelling. I am only the story teller.

A
Colonial Hills Elementary School Worthington Ohio:
Colonial Hills Elementary School, Worthington 5800 Greenwich St OH 43085, USA

get directions

This is the location of the school Matt attended with his friends.

Selfless Giving

Activity
How
Donate
clothing, canned foods, old blankets
Volunteer
library, hospital, school
Help
someone: hold a door, pick up a dropped item, mow a lawn, take out the trash
Encourage
cheer on someone who is struggling against a great challenge
There are so many possibilities. You will not need to look far to find them.

A dreary day awaits some....for others, it is another opportunity to dance in the rain that may come....

Not allowing ourselves to feel we cannot gives us the courage to believe and try.
Not allowing ourselves to feel we cannot gives us the courage to believe and try. | Source

Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

— Christian Larson

Matt did not run alone for long...

This is a true story about an eleven year old boy, his coach, his classmates, and a running event on Field Day.

This young boy is just like any other eleven year old. He wants to play and have fun and be a part of all that is happening. He participates without complaining. He has a bit of a handicap but not once did I read that in the news article. He has spastic cerebral palsy which for most would stop them from doing what this young man did. That is not the end of the story. His classmates will amaze you as well.

"Let's go, Matt,...Let's go!"

On May 16 of this year in Worthington, Ohio, Colonial Hills Elementary held its field day. It was field day just like thousands of field days across the nation. The children had been running races of and on for most of the day.

In this particular race, which happened to be the fourth race of the day and one our young boy did not have to run, Matt was struggling. He said that at one point he felt like 'giving up.'

On the video you see him alone on the running field for a few seconds. It appears most have finished running. He appears to be struggling to keep going His coach walks out on the field to him and walks with him as he runs.

Life isn't finding shelter in the storm. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

— Sherrilynn Kenyon

His classmates cheered him on every step of the way.

Unexpectedly a most wondrous thing happened---unplanned, unprompted. All at once his classmates began walking on the field. They kept pace with Matt. Cheers and chants for him can be heard. Each child was encouraging him to finish. They remained with him, cheering him on, until he had completed the race!!

It was another example of H.O.W. reaching out to others does make a huge difference. In this case, these young people learned so much about self-less giving. WOW!!

This is more than a story about a race, a child with cerebral palsy, some kids who cheered for him. It is a story about the power of the human spirit. It is a story about the goodness within humankind. It is a story that serves to inspire all who read about Matt and view the video on YouTube.

Perhaps it we should take a lesson from Matt. We should remember to never give up.When the going gets tough, keep on going.

We should take a lesson from his classmates: Encourage others to achieve.

When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on [all] the faces surrounding him.

— ~~Albert Camus

Teaching from the earliest years about kindness and having a generous spirit leads the way....

Teaching our children and grandchildren to give of our time and encouragement to others is one of the greatest gifts we can share with them.
Teaching our children and grandchildren to give of our time and encouragement to others is one of the greatest gifts we can share with them. | Source

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is caused by some type of brain injury prior to, during, or after birth and is irreversible. According to St. Louis Childrens Services, it has not been known to spontaneously reverse itself. It presents itself in different ways depending on the severity of the case that the individual has. For some it results in being wheelchair bound for life with little or no use of limbs. For others it means that one or more limbs may have limited us. This is a very brief description of cerebral palsy.

Three years ago, I had twin boys in my class and one had CP which is what he called it. He knew the words but maybe saying only the initials made it sound less frightening to others. He participated in physical ed classes and did not want to be excluded from running games. The children in the class were very protective of that young boy.

Prior to that, years ago, when I was teaching in middle school a young man in one of my reading classes had cerebral palsy. In his case, it was quite debilitating as he was wheelchair bound. However, that did not stop him from excelling. That was not a whole lot he could not do in the world of academia. His sports activities were very limited but he excelled in all things academic. He was kind and thoughtful and the kids loved him. He went on later to become the valedictorian of his senior class. He learned to overcome adversity just as so many before and after him have done.

Reflection

Selfless giving, caring, and doing for others is about the goodness that lies within our human spirits. It is that part of us that gives a damn when someone else is suffering. It is that part of us that cares when someone is homeless, someone loses their job, someone is sad and alone. It is a way to mend the animosity and fear and apathy that exists. As I have said so many times and as I have read so many times before, each one of us doing some little something for another is taking baby steps toward helping to mend our nation and our world.

Our young people will be leading us into the future in a few short years. What we often read about them are the negatives. Let this story serve as a reminder that unprompted goodness is alive and well in our country. It is usually not newsworthy but it does exist.

© 2012 Patricia Scott

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    • pstraubie48 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I won't soon forget the Sunday that I read this and then found the video. Goodness does happen...we just don't hear about often enough.

      Take care of you.

      Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      What a beautiful and encouraging story. It does make me feel encouraged about the kids of today! Thanks for sharing.

    • pstraubie48 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you Vicki for your visit today.

      It is amazing how those with some challenge in their life push beyond the challenge to do and become more than others ever expect. I was so humbled by the young students that I had who did not think they had a handicap. They felt that did not define who they were. What an important lesson from those who were so young.

      Have a lovely weekend. Sending many Angels to you today :) ps

    • profile image

      Vickiw 

      5 years ago

      Hi PS, like others, I was very touched by this story, and thank you for writing it. I think we all feel very much for people afflicted at birth with CP, but it can be a miracle to see how motivated they are, and how much they are determined to accomplish. My friend's adult son has it, and he is amazing - loves and knows about so many things in nature, and takes beautiful photos, which he sells with all proceeds going to our local Wellness Centre.

    • pstraubie48 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you, toknowinfo...

      I admit it...I cry every time I watch that video. I taught school for many years and this kind of loving spirit often prevailed.

      Of course it is not considered to be newsworthy so often does not get national attention but it happens very often.

      Thank you for your visit.

      Sending Angels your way today :) ps

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 

      5 years ago

      This is a beautiful story, as is the video. In this rough and sometimes cold world, this is a wonderful story about the human spirit, the kindness of others and the will to go on. Matt made it to the finish line partly because of his determination and partly because of the encouragement of others. This shows what a difference positive actions can make from each and everyone of us. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

    • pstraubie48 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thanks for reading this one, shiningirisheyes....the courage and will this young boy showed was a lesson to us all. and then to see his classmates rush onto the field and run the race with him all the while encouraging him made me weep. Kids can teach us so many lessons about self less giving. Every time I see the video it is as if it is for the first time. Sending Angels to you and to the families of those in the video. :) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thanks for reading this one, shiningirisheyes....the courage and will this young boy showed was a lesson to us all. and then to see his classmates rush onto the field and run the race with him all the while encouraging him made me weep. Kids can teach us so many lessons about self less giving. Every time I see the video it is as if it is for the first time. Sending Angels to you and to the families of those in the video. :) ps

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      This was an amazing story and thank youf or sharing the video. I watched, called Mom into the den and we watched it again. Crying with tears of joy!

    • pstraubie48 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Bravewarrior...I had not seen the words you mentioned when I uploaded it and I looked at it twice. So, I went in and changed to the abc news version of the video. I am so glad you saw that.

      This to me was an amazing event.

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas and sending Angels to you and yours. :) ps

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow! I really like how more and more H.O.W. posts are positive and are about the children in the world who are making a difference. Thank you so much for bringing this story to the forefront.

      One other comment: across the video screen were the words 'foolish post'. I think it's an admirable post! Had I been present at the event, by tears of joy and heartfelt warmth would have flooded the field. I know they flooded my keyboard!

      Amazing, PS. Thank you for enlightening us!

    • pstraubie48 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Awww...didn't mean to make you cry. I do admit that I cried all the way through the video and every time since when I have watched it. I guess it is the teacher in us that makes it have such a profound impac ton us. We know hwo wonderful kids can be to kids ( we also know the other side of them too but this is not the place for that discussion).

      Merry Christmas eve, Bill . I am so blessed to have found this whole new world of friends. Hugs and Angels abound. :) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Awww...didn't mean to make you cry. I do admit that I cried all the way through the video and every time since when I have watched it. I guess it is the teacher in us that makes it have such a profound impac ton us. We know hwo wonderful kids can be to kids ( we also know the other side of them too but this is not the place for that discussion).

      Merry Christmas eve, Bill . I am so blessed to have found this whole new world of friends. Hugs and Angels abound. :) ps

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What an incredibly beautiful story, PS, one that had me starting my work day crying. :) Thank you for adding to the H.O.W. movement. Sending you smiles and hugs this Christmas Eve.

      bill

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