Season 6 of the Be A Friend Project opened with a 2-year “booster shot” of support for 2018 Friend Mail Recipient "AYDEN" to show him
we mean it when we say “Friend Strong Family Forever."
Youtube of Ayden's 2020 Surprise Friend Mail Delivery and "thank you":
In 2018, 6-Year-Old Ayden from Chicago endured months of physical, social and verbal bullying in Kindergarten while battling a hidden heart defect - and our Ambassadors responded with 1,373 letters of support to let him know he was not alone! Today, at 9-years-old and going into the 3rd Grade, this Upstander just passed his two-year "heart-a-versary" of life-saving surgery, but COVID19 keeps him particularly isolated at home from friends and school; he needs support!
THIS 2020 YOUTUBE RE-INTRODUCTION OF AYDEN is a good choice for young students!
~ By On-Air Teen Super Ambassador, Brielle Withers:
Ayden posted a video in July this year asking for "pen pals" and saying, "Hi Everybody, I hope you are staying safe. Things are very troubling for me. I miss my friends at school." His plea prompted us to send Ayden an Official Ambassador Certificate and t-shirt in honor of his sending beautiful letters & videos of support to Friend Mail Recipients that came after him since 2018.
Ayden's mom tells us:
"He just moved his old Friend Mail Bin next to his bed, and he’s been re-reading some of his favorites....The letters are very therapeutic for him on his bad days. Last night, he asked to start reading at least 3 a night all over again. I wish everyone that wrote him a letter could see how much these letters mean to him. I find him smiling and giggling at times and I just soak it in.”
This 2018 Friend Mail Recipient has been through a lot in his 9 years, but has given back even more. One of our Ambassadors summed it up perfectly:
"You may not know it but you make everyone's life better than it already is... You actually inspired me to be kinder to others."
The Be A Friend Project has selected Ayden to open Season 6 in a "soft start" which will be followed by a new website launch and Recipient to be announced on October 1st in recognition of National Anti-Bullying Month.
THE DUE DATE FOR AYDEN'S BOOSTER-SHOT OF SUPPORT IS
Send physical letters to:
Be A Friend Project
449 Lane Gate Road
Cold Spring, NY 10516
Letters on email or for Google Drive links, send to:
Thanks for checking in! WE DELIVERED!
AYDEN received 1,373 LETTERS of peer support on 11/10/18!
Please consider writing our CURRENT Friend Mail Recipient!
From Nelly Sainez, Ayden's Mom:
"Be A Friend Project deserves so much credit for the boy that he is now.
Ayden’s healing process has been made possible by your letters of support… I love the Be A Friend Project for making it a priority to help build our kids through the power of kindness.
It truly has an impact on the lives of these children that fall victim to bullies."
Ayden's Heartfelt Thanks:
Fun Pictures from Friend Mail letter-writing parties and events held for Ayden include 1) at the home of On-Air Ambassador, Brielle, and her friends in Cornwall, NY, and 2) an outdoor event in Ocala, FL, organized by Danny Pedalino of The BP Bully Remedeee and Marsha King of the Bullying Prevention Council of Marion County, and 3) a lobby display at Mariah's Music & Arts production of "It's Easy!" in Stafford, VA - and lots of sample letters:
Ayden's heart surgery went great - and he even became the poster child for the hospital!
Ayden has sent videos and letters of support to Friend Mail Recipients. Ayden has won the hearts of many Ambassadors with his continued acts of kindness and pure empathy for others:
~ AYDEN'S STORY ~
THIS YOUTUBE INTRODUCTION OF AYDEN is a good choice for young students!
~ By On-Air Teen Super Ambassador, Brielle Withers:
from Chicago endured months of physical bullying while battling hidden heart defect... and what did he do about it?
Ayden started an anti-bullying Facebook page with his mom to fulfill kids' birthday wishes because, he told CBS News 2 Reporter, Dana Kozlov:
“I want them to feel happy. If they don’t feel happy, I don’t feel happy.”
There is no explanation for the bullying that Ayden endured throughout his Kindergarten year. No one deserves to be bullied ever. One of the boys that targeted him told him "they were working together" to attack him. One classmate shrugged off his behavior by saying, "I was angry."
Ayden's mom is a nurse, and during this past summer break, she noticed an increase in Ayden's symptoms of breathlessness and tiring quickly from activity, and soon discovered her brave, resilient son had also been battling the physical effects of congenital heart disease. After Ayden's heart surgery on August 23rd, his recovery should bring a physical strength of heart that equals his heart's inspirational strength of empathy.
Ayden wants to help other kids deal with bullies and posted this message on his Facebook page just days before his surgery...
"If someone is bullying you, if they don't stop, then help them with something. Then, they will like "If someone is bullying you, if they don't stop, then help them with something. Then, they will like you."
His mom says Ayden is excited but very nervous to return to school. He doesn't know if he will have any friends this year and wonders if he will be the target of bullying again. He will be starting first grade a couple of weeks late as he recovers from the heart surgery. His mom says he NEEDS TO KNOW THINGS WILL BE OKAY" and that things DO GET BETTER!
Ayden is a "STAR WARS" FANATIC! He loves giving to others, pictures and KARATE. Ayden was awarded a High Orange Belt before his heart fatigue made it necessary for him to take a break until he feels better after surgery.
It does not escape our notice that Ayden is already doing for others what we want to do for him... SEND HIM SURPRISE PEER SUPPORT and BRING HIM JOY!! Ambassadors, let's get it done!! Let's just absolutely surprise this very special boy with the most FRIEND MAIL EVER DELIVERED!!