The 12-year-old offered to pay for the shoes with his allowance and even suggested that he may forgo one of his Christmas presents to help him.
Melvin Anderson and Romello "Mello" Early are both in seventh grade at Buffalo Creek Academy Charter School in Buffalo, New York. Mello had seen that Melvin had received some unpleasant comments in recent weeks from a few classmates about his footwear. Outraged by how his friend was being treated, Mello called his mother crying after school. Anita James, Mello's mom, told TODAY that when she asked him what happened at school, he told her that his friend is “getting bullied and I’m tired of it.”
“I could tell it was upsetting him,” Mello told 11Alive, despite Melvin's best efforts to hide his feelings. “It just put a real bad ache in my stomach to see somebody have to go through that, and to be to be picked on just based on appearance,” he shared.
Later that day, Mello requested his mother to visit a shoe store and purchase a new pair of sneakers so that they can give it give to Melvin. The 12-year-old offered to pay for the shoes with his allowance, even suggesting that he was ready to forgo one of his Christmas presents to buy Melvin a new pair of shoes. Mello was so excited to gift his friend the shoes that he went to bed earlier than usual to be able to wake up earlier.
"I'm really appreciative of what he did for me," said Melvin. Even though Mello told Melvin there's no need to repay him, the teenager says he's doing more chores at his house to earn more allowance "to try and pay him back for what he did for me." Shortly after gifting his friend the shoes, Mello was called into the Dean of culture, Mr. Brown's office. Brown revealed that when he asked Melvin about what was inside the box of Nike sneakers he had, he learned that Mello had bought a pair of shoes for Mello. Brown, emotional and teary said, “I said ‘Call Mello’ and Mello came and explained to me that he bought them with his allowance.”
Brown posted about Mello's selflessness on Facebook with permission from their parents, captioning the post, “My student Melo (sic) told me he was tired of other students picking on Melvin about his shoes. Melo used his allowance and bought Melvin some shoes. This is what I live for 💯 💯 be that helping hand.” Brown didn't anticipate his one post would draw so much attention, with Buffalo Bills player Taiwan Jones personally visiting the school, gifting the boys some goodies and tickets to a game.
Brown added, “We truly think it was a kind gesture that I haven’t seen ever in my life. I’ve seen it on YouTube and I see acts of kindness with students all around this world, but for it to happen at Buffalo Creek, I was lost for words.” Brown hopes that other families will take the same message and learn a lesson in kindness. “Teach your kid to be very kind to one another so that you can have a good atmosphere at school and the culture of school can be a great and peaceful place so that kids can feel comfortable going to school,” he said. “We want to try build a foundation within our school to make sure that kids won’t ever feel like they don’t want to go to school. We can help them, just like Mello helped Melvin.” Wesley Anderson, Melvin's father said, “I just hope that that spreads around. I don’t hope everybody buys everybody a pair of sneakers, but instead of being mean and telling jokes, just console one another. Lift everybody up,” he said to TODAY.