Because everyone could use a friend.
When 6-year-old Blake Rajahn shows up to his first grade classroom on Monday, he will arrive bearing an uplifting a message for his fellow students.
Blake's mother, Nikki Rajahn, runs a custom personalization business in Fayette County, Georgia, and she asked her son what kind of t-shirt he wanted for his first day of school. He could have chosen anything—his favorite sports star's number, a cool dragon, a witty saying—anything he wanted, she could make.
Blake chose something unexpected—an orange t-shirt with a simple, sweet message for the other kids at his school to see. Five little words that might just mean the world to someone who reads them.
"I will be your friend."
Ouch. My heart.
Rajahn shared the story on her business Facebook page:
"I have to brag on my son. I told him that as a back to school gift, I will make him any shirt he would like. It could have anything—a basketball theme, football, etc. which are all his favorites. He thought a while and said, 'will you please make me a shirt that says "I will be your friend" for all the kids who need a friend to know that I am here for them?' Never underestimate your kid's heart for others! I love my sweet Blake! #stopbullying"
Apparently, such a gesture is typical of Blake. "He has always had a heart for others and is very genuine," his mother told Upworthy. She said she's donating part of the proceeds of her t-shirt sales to the Real Life Center, a non-profit that helps families in need in Tyrone, Georgia, all because of Blake.
"During the summer we had a vacation Bible school that he went to," she said, "and they did a toothbrush and toothpaste drive for the Real Life Center. He came home saying we needed to go to the Dollar Store to get some that night. We told him we would go the next day, but he had to use his money for it. He said that was fine, so we asked how much he would like to spend. He said, 'It's for people who don't have any, right?' We said yes, so he very matter-of-fact said, 'Well all of it!' And he did!"
Rajahn said everyone has been very encouraging and people are starting to order their own version of the t-shirt with "#blakesfriends" added to it.
She also shared Blake's reaction to hearing that his shirt idea was starting to spread on Facebook—and again, it's just the sweetest darn thing.
"Ever since I posted about my son and his shirt, I have sold some and told Blake about it. He said, "Oh good! Now more and more people are going to have more and more friends!" He is just so flattered so many want to be his twin too 😊"
Sometimes all a person needs is one friend so they won't feel alone, and Blake going out of his way to make sure kids feel welcomed by him is an example even adults can learn from. If we all reached out to people who might be shy or who might feel excluded, and let them know in some small way that we are open to being friends, what a better world we could build.
Thank you, Blake, for bringing some much-needed sunshine into our day.