Boy starts #ElPasoChallenge to help community heal


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso elementary student is trying to help fellow El Pasoans heal after the deadly shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart Saturday.

Eleven-year-old Ruben Martinez came up with what he’s calling the #ElPasoChallenge. The idea is that people will complete 22 random acts of kindness, one for each victim of the Walmart shooting.

It started with 20 acts of kindness when he first posted the challenge, but the victim count has since changed.

Ruben’s mom Rosa Gandarilla said he came up with the idea himself.

She said Ruben was having trouble dealing with the news, but she explained to him that people could not live in fear and encouraged him to think of something to make El Paso better.

The list includes the following ideas and examples from Ruben:

  • 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

He says the best way to encourage others in El Paso to join in the #ElPasoChallege is to hold up posters, put out flyers and get it out to everyone on Facebook.

If you’re participating in the challenge, you’re encouraged to spread the word by sharing your #ElPasoChallenge ideas and acts of kindness on social media with the #ElPasoChallenge hashtag.

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

He is especially challenging other students from across the city to participate with him.

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