Some people are just born to help others and oftentimes this desire can be seen at a young age, far before they reach adulthood. There is a feeling of goodness associated with helping others and that feeling can be a bit addicting in a positive way. It is for this reason that charities and fundraisers are started.
One autistic teen boy is proving that every person can help and that every little bit makes a difference. Fifteen-year-old Carter Crockett came up with the idea while sitting down for dinner with his mom one evening. It all started with his curiosity about St. Jude. While at dinner with his family, the New Jersey resident had heard of an annual fundraiser that St. Jude was hosting and he asked his mom what exactly St. Jude was and what they did. Patti Crockett happily answered her son’s questions about the hospital that supports children with cancer and soon Carter was inspired to help. He thought of the idea of collecting coloring books and crayons for sick children.
“Everyone loves to color and I thought I could bring color back into these kids’ lives,” said Carter, who started a GoFundMe page for the cause.
“He’s always been a very caring child and always looking out for his peers,” said Special Ed. teacher Courtney Fry.
His first step was to make a plea for donations on Facebook. His initial plea gained traction and soon it gained the attention of Chili’s. The restaurant chain immediately agreed to donate t-shirts, gift cards, Play-Doh, hats and other supplies. It didn’t take long for the Crockett family to gather enough donations which would spur an RV trip to deliver the goods to Memphis. Carter and his family packed up 15,000 crayons and 1,500 coloring books and soon they were making the road trip. The family and a few friends turned the trip into a sightseeing adventure and they took their time getting to Memphis, which gave Carter a chance to see the world outside of his home in New Jersey.
St. Jude employees were eager for Carter’s arrival and they had quite the greeting for the young boy who was recognized as a hero to all the children at the facility. The staffers greeted the boy with an aisle of high fives.
“The fact that he was feeling compassion toward other people is huge because that’s not something that autistic kids have – that’s really hard for them to do,” Patti said. “I feel truly blessed that he did this. He did this all on his own and it’s awesome to see a community come together nationwide for my kid and St. Jude.”
All it took was one simple idea from someone who wanted to do a little bit of good and soon thousands of children were smiling. Carter is a perfect example of what can happen if you follow through with an idea. He put his own issues aside to focus on others who were in need of a little extra attention.