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Bullied Little Boy Goes Door To Door Looking For New Friends — And One Of His Neighbors Catches It On Camera

Photo: @brennanray / TikTok
screenshots from videos of bullied little boy looking for friends

A little boy has sparked an outpouring of support on social media after TikTok videos of him looking for some friends have gone viral. 

The heartbreaking videos have quickly turned into a bright spot on the internet as the boy's bravery and vulnerability have inspired tons of strangers to reach out after his neighbor posted the videos of him just trying to find some pals.

The bullied little boy was caught on his neighbor's doorbell camera going door to door looking to make friends. 

If you've immediately burst into tears just from reading that line, you are definitely not alone. Even the man who posted the videos, TikTok creator Brennan Ray, said it broke his heart when his neighbor Shayden Walker showed up on his Amarillo, Texas doorstep.

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Most of us at one time or another have been the odd man out, and it's hard to forget what that feels like.

"Hi, I just wanted to see if you knew any kids around like eleven or twelve maybe because I need some friends really bad," the little boy said when Ray answered the doorbell. Ray then directed Shayden to a neighboring house where two kids his age live, but in a heartbreaking twist it turned out those very kids were the reason he was going door to door.

"Okay, well, they're not my friends anymore because they're bullies to me," Shayden said.



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"Do you have any kids?" he went on to ask. Ray does have a child, a two-year-old daughter.

But Shayden so deeply wanted companionship he wasn't even fazed by the age gap. "Okay, that's great because I love two-year-olds," he said. "To be honest, they are just like the most cutest things I have ever known." Ray again demurred but agreed to tell Shayden "hi" whenever he sees him around the neighborhood. 

Photo: @brennanray / TikTok

The bullied little boy had tried to come by Ray's house earlier, but lost his nerve and had to come back later.

After further reviewing footage from his doorbell camera, Ray discovered something that made little Shayden's situation all the more heartbreaking — he'd come by Ray's house earlier in the day but lost the nerve to ring the doorbell and left. He then came back 30 mins later and tried again.

In that video, you can see Shayden walking up onto Ray's porch before abruptly about-facing and saying "no" and continuing down the sidewalk.



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The moment really drives home just how hard things are for Shayden right now, but even more important, just how much strength he has despite being bullied by his former friends. 

If you were bullied, you know — asking for someone to befriend you, to respect you, to simply see you is about the hardest thing a bullied kid could ever do because you know you're running the risk of setting yourself up for more bullying.

I was bullied to one degree or another from first grade all the way until graduating high school, and there is nothing that could ever have compelled me to put myself out there the way Shayden did. To this day, I struggle with social anxiety, an extremely common aftermath for kids who are bullied, 20% of whom go on to have emotional and/or mental health problems in adulthood.

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Shayden's bravery inspired Ray to start a GoFundMe for him, and he has received an outpouring of donations and support.

There are just no two ways about it — Shayden's ability to be vulnerable and seek connection even after being bullied is nothing short of heroic, and people online were profoundly moved by it. 

After seeing how much courage Shayden had to work up to talk to him, Ray decided to do something to brighten the kid's life. He put a call out on TikTok to "make his year," asking his followers to donate to a GoFundMe fundraising drive to "spread kindness" and provide Shayden with $7000 with which to buy fun stuff like a gaming console and amusement park tickets and any supplies he might need for the coming schoolyear. It has so far raised more than $35,000.

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Shayden's story has even touched one of the biggest stars in the world.

After a commenter on Ray's video suggested he ask Shayden's mom to set up a private PO Box for him so that people could reach out to him with words of encouragement, none other than supermodel Bella Hadid chimed in, begging Ray to take the suggestion so that she could find a way to brighten the kid's day. 

 Photo: TikTok

Being a kid is nothing if not difficult — and at times, a downright nightmare. Here's hoping that learning how many new friends he has out in the internet, not to mention their donations, makes Shayden's experience just a little bit easier.

And Shayden, if you're reading this: stay strong, and never lose that faith that things can get better.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.