This 14-year-old boy and his mom may have single handedly restored my faith in America today. Josette Duran, from New Mexico, had been packing her 14-year-old son, Dylan, an extra school lunch every day, at his request. For awhile, she just assumed he was hungry (teenagers!). But then she eventually found out the real reason, and it's heartbreakingly sweet.
"Are you not getting full boo?" Duran asked her son, she wrote in a Facebook post which has since gone viral. Dylan responded: "Yes Mom its for this boy. He only eats a fruit cup for lunch can you make him lunch too? I don't think he has lunch money."
Here's the full post. Warning: may cause feelings.
Turns out being an awesome person runs in this family, because Duran continued to pack her son two meals, and left encouraging notes in both lunches. Then one day she was called in for a meeting with the principal, and learned that the other boy's mom had found out about Duran's kindness and wanted to repay her.
“She says, ‘I know this isn’t much, but I just got a job, and I know you’ve been feeding my son,’” Duran explained in a Facebook video she posted on Oct. 14, which has been reposted by Iowa-based news station KCCI:
In the video, which has been viewed over twenty million times, Duran gets weepy as she talks about her son's good deed. "It's pretty intense," she says through tears.
The story gets even better. Duran said that the players on the volleyball team she coaches raised $400 to repay her for the lunches. But instead of keeping the money, she put it all towards paying off past-due accounts at her son's school cafeteria. “So now, nobody in that school owes any money,” she says in the video. “And now everyone can eat.”
And better: apparently her good dead has set off a ripple effect. A few days after she posted the video, an Iowa man named Jerry Fenton was inspired by Duran's story to give $700 to pay off overdue lunch bills for kids at the elementary school he went to as a child, he told the Des Moines Register. “I don’t want to tell people what to do, but it’s always nice when people do nice things," he said. Amen to that.