Texas Boy Spreading Encouragement And Hope After Tragic El Paso Mass Shooting

After the deadly shootout at Walmart Supercenter in El Paso, Texas, this unusual act by a young boy has been helping the community heal fast.


11-year-old Ruben Martinez started what is known as the #elpasoCHALLENGE, his mom Rose Gandarilla shared a photo of her son on social media which has gone viral. The 6th grader has been encouraging citizens in the city to do at least 20 good deeds to honor all those who died in the shooting, telling them to “be kind to each other all day every day, all night, every night.”


Ruben said that people could do various acts of kindness like: “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 too has been extending a helping hand to the community as his mom Gandarilla said, “He is a very caring young man,” she added, “He is always asking me to give money to homeless people or to go buy them food. Every since he was little, we always pay for someone’s dinner at a restaurant once a month.”

My son has been having some bad anxiety after yesterday’s event. After some discussion, he came to me asking if I would…

Posted by Rose Gandarilla on Sunday, August 4, 2019

The mother-son duo visited Walgreens, Carinos, Barnes and Noble, Sprouts and other places in El Paso to ask other people to join them in the challenge. The first night, he took dinner to the first responders, the next day, he was passing candy outside a restaurant and held the door for them. And on Tuesday night, he took roses to the Del Sol Hospital and gave them to the families waiting in the ICU. He even gave roses to the doctors and nurses at the University Medical Center ER where victims were being treated.


He has met Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., to share his challenge, wearing a shirt with the hashtag on it. Ruben carried a poster with “#elpasoCHALLENGE” written on it, he ran into a group at Taco Bell who were excited to join in.

20-year-old Marine, Chris Castaneda who met Ruben at Taco Bell, said he had already done four good deeds and will be doing more. “I was happy to see that no matter what kind of adversity hits us, as a community we are still strong,” Castaneda said. “And with this young man, it shows that all it takes is one person, one step, one question to make a big change.”

This courageous young man came up to us at Taco Bell and challenged us to make El Paso a better place, the challenge is…

Posted by Chris Castaneda on Sunday, August 4, 2019

Texas boy, Ruben, is driving home a very strong message of spreading love and kindness in a hopeless and dark place. Why can’t we adults think the same way as this 11-year-old boy.

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