‘I wanted to bring some smiles in the dark time.’: 12-year-old boy starts missions to help those in need

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“Life has been very hard these past 2 years, but that has not stopped me from doing what I love the most: helping the less fortunate. Even when the pandemic hit nationwide, that did not stop me from spreading kindness. I was concerned with friends at school not getting hand sanitizers because they were selling out all over, so I, with the help of my mom, ordered 1,500 hand sanitizers and donated them to my local school district, the public library, police department, and fire department. I also collected and donated face masks and hand gloves for our community First Aid Squad.

young boy with fire department
Courtesy of Jayden Perez

I was concerned for the homeless people living in the streets so I decided to make blessing bags filled with toiletries, food, and water and personally hand-delivered them. For my birthday in March, I collected dog and cat food instead of presents to donate to the local animal shelter during the pandemic. I was very happy to have collected a lot of food and $150 for shots.

young boy holding cat food with two cats
Courtesy of Jayden Perez

I have been helping many people, families, and animals since the age of 8. I am the founder of my own nonprofit called From The Bottom Of My Heart.

I know with the pandemic we had to stay home and practice social distance. I still wanted to do more from home so I purchased a sewing machine and learned how to make face masks. I then donated some to my community and family and people in need of a mask. I am an ambassador of Giving Tuesday and I decided to do an act of kindness every Tuesday. I did a random small act of kindness to inspire others and make a difference during the challenging times.

young boy making heart with hands
Courtesy of Jayden Perez

Because of the pandemic, I wanted to do as much to help the less fortunate and bring some smiles even through the dark moments. With the school being virtual, I know many children didn’t have a computer or laptop to do their assignments, so I reached out to my principal and donated three laptops to my school so at least three students in need can have them to complete their school assignments. I also purchased and donated over 433 sets of diversity crayons and donated to a new pre-school that opened in my community and a local church so children can now find their own skin tone to draw and color themselves.

young boy holding laptop
Courtesy of Jayden Perez

I was given several cases of water from the company Voss water, and I chose to donate to the first responders, front-line workers in my community, and the homeless. During Thanksgiving, I purchased and donated over 20 turkeys and donated to Eva’s Village Shelter to help feed the homeless. I also donated to people in need in my community and a local church that was collecting for people in need.  I purchased several gift cards to help the families buy food. Several of my friends and family members were infected with Covid-19 so with the help of my parents, I was able to cook a Thanksgiving dinner and drop it off at their front step to cheer them up. I did not want anyone missing a great meal for Thanksgiving.

young boy with Thanksgiving dinner on table
Courtesy of Jayden Perez

For Christmas, I bought and collected toys for the community fire department to donate to children in St. Joseph hospital. I also donated to several families in need. I gave several gift cards to the public library in my community to help the families during the holidays. With the pandemic hitting nationwide, many families lost their jobs, and some could not provide toiletries for their babies. I decided to go to my local Shoprite and made a sign for the community to come together and help to donate toiletries for the babies in need. I was able to collect so many toiletries and dropped them off at the local community library to hand out to the families in need.

young boy making a donation
Courtesy of Jayden Perez

I have also helped the less fortunate since the age of 8. In 2019, I helped my local library make sleeping mats out of plastic bags for the homeless. I also volunteer at the library every Friday after school. I made 75 Easter baskets for the less fortunate children in the community and shelters. Later that year, I volunteered to help clean the community park and we picked up dozens of trash bags that day. On Veteran’s Day, I purchased 160 flowers and visited the cemetery of fallen veterans to put a flower on each grave. I saluted each grave when placing the flower. Before school started, I bought and collected 319 backpacks to fill with school supplies and donate to nearby towns and shelters.

young boy putting flowers on Veterans graves
Courtesy of Jayden Perez

I helped Puerto Rico, Florida, and the Bahamas after suffering a hurricane. I collected and donated, clothes, food, toiletries, animal food, and much more. For Easter, I made 75 Easter baskets to hand out to the less fortunate in my community. I also donated over 419 backpacks filled up with school supplies for my community and other towns in need. I love helping my community, but most importantly making a difference and bringing smiles to many during difficult times.

I will continue helping any way I can, especially during the pandemic, because that is when people and animals need it the most.

You can see more of my missions on social media.”

Courtesy of Jayden Perez

This story was submitted to  Love What Matters by Jayden Perez. You can follow his journey on Instagram, Facebook, and his website. Submit your own story  hereand be sure to  subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and  YouTube for our best videos.

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