After two weeks into the new school year, a boy came home to his mom with a special request — he asked her if she could pack an extra lunch. While she instantly agreed to do so, she felt immensely proud of her son after learning the reason behind his request.
Random acts of kindness and love never go unnoticed. They are powerful enough to uplift people, especially when they're going through difficult times and need a solid support system. Not everyone feels comfortable asking for help; some might prefer fighting their battles alone.
However, as human beings, we should all try our best to reach out to others and offer our help. Sometimes, a brief conversation with a stranger, an unexpected phone call, or an unlikely encounter can foster the most beautiful connections. Today's story sheds light on something similar.
Josette Duran. | Source: YouTube.com/Inside Edition
AN UNUSUAL REQUEST
Josette Duran was a single mother and lived with her son, Dylan, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2016, the mother-son duo experienced something that went on to grab worldwide attention and inspired countless people to follow in their footsteps. Keep reading to discover the complete story.
It had been only two weeks since the new school year started when Duran said her son came to her and asked if she could prepare extra lunch. She recalled:
"About the second week that school started this year, I was making Dylan's lunch in the morning and out of nowhere, he said 'Mama, can you make two lunches?'"
A KIND-HEARTED YOUNGSTER
Duran, who was 38 then, said she asked Dylan if he wasn't having enough lunch to make it through the school day. Her son replied:
"No, I'm getting full, but I want to take one for my friend."
It turned out that the then-eighth-grader had noticed that his class fellow brought only a fruit cup every day and suspected he didn't have enough money to buy more lunch.
A TRUE FRIEND
Duran noted that without asking any questions, she began preparing two lunch boxes from that day onward. She sent snacks and sandwiches for the two boys, alongside encouraging sticky notes that said, "Have A Great Lunch Boys (sic)."
The New Mexico mom said the other child's mother came to thank her in person at the school one day. She recounted:
"Dylan said, 'Mom, this is the boy.' Up until then, I didn't ask, 'What does he look like? Show me.' I didn't even care at that point. She [the mother] told me, 'Thank you for feeding him. He's doing better in school,' and that my son is his best friend."
"I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING SPECIAL"
Duran mentioned that the other kid's mom offered to pay her for the lunches, but she refused to accept any money. The Albuquerque resident sent her then-14-year-old son off to school for more than a month with two lunches.
However, the single mom said that her critics didn't know anything about her or Dylan, and everything they had endured in the past.
But she said it stopped when Dylan's friend started receiving lunch under the federal reduced and free meal program. When asked why she fulfilled her son's request, she answered: "I don't think I did anything special. I just think that I did what a human being is supposed to do."
Josette Duran. | Source: YouTube.com/Inside Edition
DRAWING FROM HER PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
The single mom also expressed that she wasn't surprised to see her son helping his friend out. Duran said she had always taught Dylan to be kind and help others and was proud to have a kind-hearted and loving child.
Moreover, Duran, who was also the volleyball coach at Dylan's school, said that she doubted the school knew about the other kid's financial crisis until he applied for the reduced meal program. She also shared another reason for helping the other boy. Duran revealed:
"I was homeless a few years ago. I know how hard it is to ask for help. You get ashamed and feel embarrassed because we didn’t want anyone to know what was going on with us."
Duran admitted she was a little worried initially regarding the other kid's mom's reaction. However, she said all her doubts and fears subsided when they met. She recollected:
“Because in this day and age, when you try to help somebody, some people get offended by it. People aren’t used to kindness. So I was kind of scared. I didn’t want her to think that I was stepping on her toes, or crossing boundaries, but she was very, very thankful. She told me how much she appreciated what we did.”
While Duran and Dylan's kind gesture spurred kindness and inspired people, some questioned their intentions, especially after Duran shared the lunch pictures on Facebook.
BEING KIND DOESN'T COST ANYTHING
However, the single mom said that her critics didn't know anything about her or Dylan and everything they had endured in the past. She added:
"We've been through some hardships together, so we know what that feels like and we don't want no one else to feel that way, so we try to be proactive and help when we need to help. We don’t think twice about it."
Duran said she wished for her family's story to reach others and inspire them to extend a helping hand to someone without second thoughts, and we couldn't agree with her more.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
1. Do you think Dylan did the right thing by helping his friend?
As a youngster, all Dylan wanted to do was make his friend feel understood and loved. He did an excellent job in discovering why his classmate didn't bring enough lunch to school and knew he could help make things better for him with his mother's support. What are your thoughts?
2. Do you feel Duran was justified in fulfilling her son's request?
Seeing your children make the right choices in life and go out of their way to help someone is every parent's heartfelt dream. What Duran did for her son's friend is worthy of appreciation and praise, but one might think that her personal experience became a determining force behind her actions. What do you think?
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