Two middle school boys in Buffalo, New York have become famous for a touching act of kindness that went viral on Facebook.
Romello Early, also known as “Mello” and Melvin Anderson are both seventh graders at Buffalo Creek Academy Charter School.
In recent weeks, Mello noticed that Melvin was being bullied for the sneakers he was wearing.
Mello became so upset at how his friend was being treated that he ended up calling his mom crying after school. In a phone interview with Today, Anita James, Mello’s mother, recalled what Mello explained to her, “I just really need to talk to you because my friend is getting bullied and I’m tired of it.”
Once he told the whole story to his mother later that day, Mello asked if they could go to a shoe store so they could find a new pair of sneakers for Melvin. The 12-year-old even offered his own allowance money to pay for the shoes. Mello even suggested that one of his Christmas presents could get taken away so he could purchase shoes for his friend instead.
Mello was so excited to give the sneakers to his friend Melvin. Shortly after Mello gifted the shoes to his friend, Melvin was called to the office of Bryant Brown Jr., the Dean of Culture at Buffalo Creek Academy.
Brown had seen Melvin with the box of Nike sneakers and wanted to inquire about what was in the box. When Brown discovered that it was in fact, a pair of new sneakers, he asked who gave Melvin the shoes, he revealed that his friend Mello had bought the shoes for him, an act that made Brown “get teary.”
“I said ‘Call Mello’ and Mello came and explained to me that he bought them with his allowance,” Brown said.
Brown decided to take a picture of the two boys with Melvin holding the brand-new pair of sneakers to capture the touching moment. After receiving permission from the boys’ parents, Brown shared the photo on his Facebook account with the message, “My student Melo told me he was tired of other students picking on Melvin about his shoes. Melo used his allowance and bought Melvin some shoes. This is what I live for 💯 – 💯 be that helping hand.”
The post went viral on Facebook. Brown said, “We truly think it was a kind gesture that I haven’t seen ever in my life. I’ve seen it on YouTube and I see acts of kindness with students all around this world, but for it to happen at Buffalo Creek, I was lost for words.”
Brown, Mello, and Melvin’s family have been shocked by the response to the story. The kind gesture even caught the attention of Dakarai Singletary, the founder of the local organization Candles in the S.U.N., who will be taking the two boys to a Buffalo Bills game in November to celebrate the good deed.
Anderson, Melvin’s father, said “Just treat everybody with kindness instead of trying to ridicule the other child, because they never know what their parents are going through — a financial situation, mental situation, or whatever the case may be,” he said.
“I just hope that that spreads around. I don’t hope everybody buys everybody a pair of sneakers, but instead of being mean and telling jokes, just console one another. Lift everybody up,” he continued.
Mello echoed a similar opinion, adding, “Treat someone the way you want to be treated, because God always gives back for good deeds. I just wish people would treat other people better.”
Brown encouraged, “Teach your kid to be very kind to one another so that you can have a good atmosphere at school and the culture of school can be a great and peaceful place so that kids can feel comfortable going to school,” he said. “We want to try to build a foundation within our school to make sure that kids won’t ever feel like they don’t want to go to school. We can help them, just like Mello helped Melvin.”