Middle school student Romello Early was very worried seeing his friend Melvin Anderson being bullied by other students at Buffalo Creek Academy in Buffalo, New York over his old shoes. So last month, Romello bought Melvin a pair of new shoes with $135 he had saved from his allowance.
The 12-year-old bought his fellow 7th grader a pair of black-and-white Nike Dunks. He said watching Melvin, who is also 12, getting picked on by other students made him “feel sad” and “mad” so he asked his mom Anita James to take him to the store so he could buy Melvin new shoes.
“I could tell it was upsetting him,” Romello told WGRZ. “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 off appearance.”
“I had saved up my allowance, and so I asked my mom to take me to the shoe store to get Melvin some shoes, and the next day I came and gave them to him,” he added.
Bryant Brown, Jr., the school’s dean of culture, shared Romello’s act of kindness on his Facebook page, receiving thousands of likes, shares and comments. “My student Melo told me he was tired of other students picking on Melvin about his shoes,” Brown wrote. “Melo used his allowance and bought Melvin some shoes.”
“His shoes weren’t up to par. Melvin likes to run in the mud and get his shoes dirty,” Brown told FOX. Brown said he is glad that his post touched the world. “It’s still affecting me today,” he said.
Melvin is also grateful to his friend Romello for the shoes. “I’m doing chores at home so I can earn some money to try and pay him back for what…what he did for me,” he told WGRZ.
Per StopBullying.gov, about 20% of students ages 12 to 18 experienced bullying nationwide. Melvin’s school has so far launched an anti-bullying campaign to raise money to help other students like him, Brown said.