Josh received your 770 Letters of Support and record 440 "gift points" of small gifts on April 3rd, 2022!! "I LOVE YA'ALL GUYS!"
WATCH the Surprise Presentation on Youtube from TWITTER LIVE and VIDEO THANK-YOU FROM SUPERHERO JOSH! FEEL ALL THE LOVE, AMBASSADORS!!!
~ Josh's Story ~
"Loving" Oklahoma boy (11) in viral bullying video struggles to accept being different, blaming his autism instead of the bullies.
ADORABLE Josh (11) is "so loving, has the biggest heart and is very empathetic," according to his mom. The 6th Grader always pays attention to the feelings of others, often asking "are you okay?" - and if someone else is sad, Josh gets sad. He loves ALL SUPERHEROES, but especially Spiderman and Batman. He loves Anime, and has a natural talent for Origami. Folding his paper masterpieces (he can create ANYthing) helps him to calm down, and he likes to give them to others as gifts.
Ambassadors... guess what else Josh loves?? GETTING MAIL!! His mom says he is OBSESSED WITH MAIL and goes through the house mail EVERY DAY!! We are going to make Josh so happy with SO MUCH FRIEND MAIL!!
Josh usually blames himself for the verbal, social, physical and cyber bullying he has endured throughout his school years because he thinks he is "too loud" or "too upset," blaming his autism and other differences for being attacked, called names, punched in the face more than once and bitten. His mom is helping Josh to see being autistic as a "superpower" that makes him wonderfully unique, and not something to dislike about himself.
Courageous Josh spent much of his earlier childhood in hospitals due to multiple medical conditions. He is legally blind in his left eye and wears glasses. Josh learned to feel comfortable in a hospital setting where people are caring and supportive, and they respect his aversion to bright lights, loud noises and too many people. Integrating into society outside of the hospital and into a public school was a challenge. Students called him "Geeky" and a "Nerd" because of his glasses which he has tried to break or hide as a result.
At the start of this school year, Josh was punched in the face by an older student when he asked him to stop making a "tapping noise" so he could concentrate. Another bully recently assaulted Josh and used a racial slur while he was sitting at a desk in a classroom. The attack was videoed by another student who shared it with friends; the video quickly went viral across all 4 middle schools in the city, and beyond.
SHARING VIDEOS OF BULLYING IS A FORM OF BOTH "SOCIAL BULLYING" AND "CYBER BULLYING" MEANT TO HUMILIATE THE VICTIM AND USE SOMEONE ELSE'S PAIN AS ENTERTAINMENT. JUST DON'T DO IT!
Josh came home from school crying, telling his mom that he was "bullied by the big kids," but she did not know to what extent until the video was brought to her attention by someone in the community. The same bully continues to jump at Josh in the hallways, on purpose, to make him flinch.
A YOUTUBE INTRODUCTION OF JOSH by our On-Air Super Teen Ambassador, Brielle Withers, is a good choice for young students to learn Josh's story:
Sweet Josh's cognitive functioning is similar to a 7 or 8 year old, and he reads at a Kindergarten-1st Grade level, so keep that in mind when creating your letters of support. More art and few words are good, and his mom will enjoy reading our longer letters to him. Josh's mom says her son "wants to make friends so bad!!" Even though the 11-year-old struggles with social awkwardness, it does not stop him from trying to make friends by going up to people and talking to them.
Josh "wants connection"... he wants friends... and he is OBSESSED WITH MAIL!
WHAT A PERFECT RECIPIENT FOR THE BE A FRIEND PROJECT!! HELP US MAKE JOSH FRIEND STRONG WITH FRIEND MAIL!!!! Join us in showing this loving, brave 11-year-old that his differences make him super cool, unique and amazingly awesome!
"CHANGE ONE LIFE AND YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. IT'S IN YOUR HANDS!"
THE DUE DATE FOR JOSH'S LETTERS IS MARCH 18TH
Friend Mail must arrive in our NY office for review by the Due Date to be included in his main surprise delivery!
Mail "PHYSICAL" letters to:
Be A Friend Project
P.O. Box 30
Beacon, NY 12508
Email letters, videos, scans & Google Drive links, send to: