A few weeks ago, an amazing 8-year-old by the name of Darnell Gaffney, Jr. aka “DJ”, saw a few people sitting outside of a restaurant asking for help. He curiously asked his mother why they were there, and she explained that they were in need of food and shelter. Later that evening, DJ was still thinking about what he had seen earlier at the restaurant. He let his mother know that he wanted to donate a portion of monies he received for his birthday and making the honor roll to the homeless.
His mother, Alisha Gaffney, was excited about his idea and helped DJ post a video on Facebook challenging others to match his $100 or donate any amount.
“I was so touched by my son wanting to help others,” said Gaffney. “I knew that we had to help him see this through.”
A viewer of DJ’s video suggested that the donations go to Grace Beyond Borders, an organization in East Chicago, IN that supports the homeless and those impacted by drug addiction in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. DJ agreed and launched a two-week campaign that resulted in a final gift to Grace Beyond Borders of $1,000.
On June 1st, DJ and his mother stopped by Grace Beyond Borders to present the check. Founder and Executive Director Marcus Martin had been following the campaign online, and was excited to meet the ambitious 8-year-old.
“I was so impressed by his passion and maturity,” said Martin. “He’s so young, yet he already understands the importance of helping those in need.”
DJ offered final remarks at the close of the presentation. “Always be kind to others,” said young Gaffney.
“We thank the Gaffneys and everyone who participated in this fundraiser to help our invisible neighbors, and may God bless you all,” added Martin.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.GraceBeyondBorders.org.