Things That Matter

Here’s How One 11-Year-Old El Paso Resident Is Trying to Bring Some Positive Light After A Horrible Mass Shooting

Ruben Martinez is an 11-year-old kid from El Paso, Texas and the shooting this past weekend impacted him like all Texans. He’s community was just attacked and his mother had to sit him down and explain what had happened. It was then that he knew he had to do something to help his community heal. His idea: the #ElPasoChallenge. Here’s what you need to know to participate.

On the morning of August 3, a white supremacist went to El Paso with the intention of shooting as many Mexicans as he could.

Credit: El Paso Police Department

Patrick Crusius, 21, entered a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas and opened fire on shoppers. He killed 22 people and injured 24 with an assault rifle. The violent attack left the Latino community in fear when it was revealed that Crusius had traveled to El Paso to exact his act of terror on the Latino community.

While the community was grieving, 11-year-old Ruben Martinez went to his room and brainstormed a way to bring the people of El Paso together.

Credit: @rgandarilla99 / Twitter

Martinez’s idea is a challenge to promote kindness. He wants El Pasoans to commit one act of kindness for each person who was killed during the tragic shooting. The #ElPasoChallenge is that simple. Just help other people in the name and memory of the people who were murdered by a domestic terrorist.

If you aren’t sure how you can join, Martinez has laid out a few ways to do good for people.

Credit: @rgandarilla99 / Twitter

Here is what Martinez wrote to start his mission to help his community heal.

“#elpasoCHALLENGE”

“Purpose: To honor the people who got killed in our city.”

“How: I’ll challenge each person in El Paso to do 20 good deeds for each other.”

“Examples: Mow someone’s lawn, visit a nursing home, pay for someone’s lunch or dinner, donate to families in need, write someone a letter and tell them how great they are, hold the door for everyone, comfort someone when they are sad or stressed, take flowers to someone in the hospital, leave a dollar on the vending machine for the next person, and any other random act of kindness.”

“How to convince everyone to join the #elpasoCHALLENGE: Hold up posters, pass out flyers, sent it to Facebook.”

“This will show the world that people from El Paso, TX are kind and care for each other.”

The call to action from a child is pulling all of the heartstrings.

Credit: @summerprj / Twitter

“He was having some trouble dealing with what happened,” Gandarilla told CNN. “I explained to him that we could not live in fear and that people in our community are caring and loving. I told him to try and think of something he could do to make El Paso a little better.”

Gandarilla also proudly shared that her son already started on his acts of kindness.

Credit: @GynarchyLove / Twitter

“Last night, he agree(d) to go out to do his first act of kindness,” Gandarilla told CNN. “He chose to go deliver dinner to our first responders.”

The #elpasoCHALLENGE is reaching far out of Texas with people across the country joining the challenge.

Credit: @stlagogo / Twitter

The challenge might have been intended for the El Paso community, but it seems people all over want to make a difference. Martinez’s sweet and well-meaning gesture is something more of us should be trying to do in this world.

Way to go, Ruben! Your plan to spread the #elpasoCHALLENGE is working.

Credit: @HackeMom / Twitter

Let us know if you are joining Martinez’s #elpasoCHALLENGE. This kind of action from young people is so important in today’s dark and scary world.

READ: After A Mass Shooting In El Paso, ‘Amor Eterno’ Becomes An Anthem Bringing Latinx Communities Together

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