It’s pretty easy to feel depressed by all the negativity swirling around us 24/7 these days — you need only flip on the news or scroll through your Facebook feed, and there it is. But if you’ve been wondering just what exactly happened to good old fashioned kindness and altruism, allow me to introduce you to Carter Crockett, a 15-year-old boy from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who just pulled off an impressive and kind-hearted gesture that will touch your heart.
Crockett, who has autism, has faced his own fair share of hardships. But according to his mom, Patti Crockett, he’s a sweet boy who “worries about everyone else” but himself.
“He truly has a heart of gold,” Patti shares. “He worries about his sister who is more severely autistic [and] was nonverbal until she was 6.”
And it’s that very selflessness that led him to recently donate 15,000 crayons and 1,500 coloring books to sick kids at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
It all started about a year ago, when Carter was eating dinner with his family at a local Chili’s restaurant. According to his mom, the teen spotted a few signs that were posted asking patrons for donations to help St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and he asked her what it was all about.
“I briefly explained what St. Jude was all about and I thought that was pretty much the end of it,” Patti shares. “Months later he had watched some of the St. Jude advertising videos and he was moved.”
Carter was immediately moved, and got an idea — one he couldn’t quite let go of.
“He came to me and said, ‘Mom we need to do something for these children,'” Patti continues. “‘I have autism but they have cancer and they could die.’ And he said ‘I want to bring color to their lives, Mom.'”
That small but heartfelt idea soon sparked an amazing chain of events, as the Crockett family found themselves inundated with donations from family and friends. And soon after Carter shared a Facebook live video asking for help, even Chili’s joined in on the effort, sending the Crockett’s a package that included a camera to document their trip to St. Jude, $700 in gift cards to cover expenses while on the road, and a ton of goodies for the kids at the hospital.
“‘Course I said yes and not thinking that it was Chili’s corporate I thought it was our local Chili’s,” Patti shared with Babble. “So when I got the phone call from Chilis I cried. They said to me they had seen Carter’s video and they wanted to help us on our journey to St. Jude.”
Soon after, the Crockett family reached out to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, explained what they were up to, and asked if they could come in person to make the donation.
“They were so excited about it,” Patti says of the hospital staff. “I had spoken to two incredible women who work for St. Jude, Velma and Holly. And then when Chili’s got involved it just exploded.”
So what is it that drives Carter to be so kind and giving towards others? Patti says she thinks it has to do with one of the life lessons she’s constantly trying to instill in her children: a lesson she calls The Golden Rule.
“Sitting back watching people do things is not how things get done,” she shares. “But putting yourself out there and doing what is right is always the best choice.”
Carter has been overwhelmed with media attention since his story went viral. In fact, the Philadephia mayor and police chief gave him an award for his efforts earlier this month, as well as a police escort on the main highway.
With kids like Carter Crockett in the world, I guess we can rest assured that there really is still some love kindness out there, after all. And hopefully, his story inspires even more to come.