Brothers Derrell and Kyllon Martin (left), White man who got sack (right)
In New Orleans, a white guy was minding his own business, sitting alone and away from other people, when a couple of black kids ran up and handed him a sack before taking off. Left there with the bag in hand, the man noticed a note scribbled on it before looking inside in shock at what they had just dropped in his lap.
The pre-teen brothers were seen a short time later doing the same to another white guy in the park when what they were doing all came to light. With racial tensions running high, especially in Louisiana where the start of the recent Black Lives Matters unrest began when Alton Sterling was shot, police officers and caucasian citizens have both been on high alert as targets of violent racism.
Derrell Martin, 10, and his brother Kyllon, 9, were on a road trip with their mom Kristy Lewis-Martin, when they passed by a local bridge and saw a man begging for money. The boys insisted that she stop, even though they didn’t have any cash to give him, but Kyllon had a taco that he wanted to give the guy in need, so he handed it to his brother Derrell. The brothers both watched in complete shock at what they man did with the taco in front of them, and from that moment, they devised a plan.
Seeing how happy that leftover food made this homeless person, the brothers were inspired to keep feeding the needy, regardless of their skin color or how they ended up on the street. “He was so excited that he danced and showed everyone that he had the taco,” Kristy told Inside Edition about the man’s reaction, which changed her little boys forever.
All on their own, her sons put their heads together and came up with a name for their mission, “The Helping Lunchbox,” with a lofty goal of handing out 250 sack lunches by August 8 to homeless people in New Orleans, where they live. However, it was more than a sandwich, some pretzels, and a lot of love packed into each sack. In addition, the boys hand wrote an inspirational message on the outside of each one, hoping to encourage every person they fed.
Brothers with a helper handing out lunches, (left/right), Assembling lunches with their mother Kristy (center)
When volunteers from the non-profit group B.O.S.S. Youth Outreach Program heard what the brothers were doing, they wanted to help them reach their goal by donating some of their time and supplies to the incredible cause. The boys are already way ahead of schedule, serving 200 lunches to the homeless and receiving a wide range of responses from each person.
“Some were happy, some were crying,” Derrell said. However, their impact was even further reaching than they expected. According to Kristy, after the boys spent some time talking with one of the homeless guys, he was inspired to reconnect with his own family because of the sweet interaction with the incredible young men.
“It makes me feel awesome that I’m helping people,” Derrell said. “We’re making a change for once.”
While these African-Americans kids could have been led by the misguided rhetoric that white people don’t like them and cops are out to kill them, they are out actually doing something positive to see that there is a change in their area while others complain about it. Violence doesn’t fix the ghetto, good parenting does. This mother raised her sons right, against all odds in their struggling city at the epicenter of this divisiveness. Instead of causing more problems, her kids are being part of the solution.