As El Paso, Texas, reels after the weekend's evil and deadly mass shooting, one young boy is doing his part to inspire others to do good and bring his community together.
Sixth-grader Ruben Martinez started the #ElPasoChallenge "to honor the people who got killed in our city." Ruben is challenging people to do 22 good deeds for others in honor of the 22 victims murdered in the massacre.
"You can help someone in need when they're feeling stressed out," Ruben said.
My 11 year old came to me with an idea. #elpasoCHALLENGE He challenges ALL El Pasoans to commit 20 Random Acts of Kindness. One for every person that was killed in our city's mass shooting. Let's get this done El Paso. @abc7breaking @kels1142 @YsletaISD @EPPOLICE @elpasoisd pic.twitter.com/pvy5Q9G4f6
— Rose (@rgandarilla99) August 5, 2019
What sort of good deeds? Ruben gives examples like mowing someone else's lawn or visiting a nursing home or hospital or paying for someone else's lunch. Even small acts of kindness like holding the door for others or writing a letter to tell someone how great they are.
Speaking to KVIA-TV, Ruben's mother, Rose Gandarilla, said her son was inspired to start the challenge as a way to cope with with the shooting.
"After a lot of discussion I said, 'Why don't you go think of something that you can do to show everybody that El Paso's good,'" she said.
Gandarilla posted her son's challenge on social media, where it's quickly gone viral with many people commenting that they'll take up the challenge.
In a follow-up interview with CNN, Gandarilla said Monday that Ruben's first act of kindness was to deliver dinner to El Paso's first responders. Ruben and his mom have traveled to Walgreens, Barnes & Noble, and Sprouts to spread the challenge.
"El Pasoans are loving, caring and are willing to do anything to help out," Ruben said. "We can make the world a better place."