It’s always heartbreaking for a mother to see her child struggling to make friends. It’s extra challenging for kids with special needs, like 24-year-old Christian Bowers. He has Down syndrome that makes it harder to make friends, despite being extremely social.
His mom, Donna Herter, realized how lonely Christian was and she wanted to do something to help.
According to Today, Herter explained, “Christian is a social bug and when we’re in public, he’ll invite anyone to join us.” Naturally, her heart was broken to Christian asked when his friends were coming over.
Knowing no one he invited while out and about would show up, Herter decided to take matters into her own hands and made a Facebook post offering to pay people to be Christian’s friends!
The post read: “I’m looking for a young man, between the ages of 20-28 who would like to make some extra money. Two days a month for two hours, I’ll pay you to be my son’s friend. All you have to do is sit with him and play video games in his room. Nothing else.”
She went on to say, “He’s 24 and has Down Syndrome and doesn’t have any friends his age. You will not be alone with him, myself or his grandpa will be home. Obviously he won’t know you are getting paid, but that you are there for him those 2 days. The pay is $80 for 2 hours…PS: Getting paid is not optional. The reason I’m paying is to guarantee you show up. He’s had many people tell him ‘Someday I’ll visit’ and they never do.”
After posting the plea publically on Facebook, Herter was overwhelmed by the positive response. Her post was shared more than 57,000 times and received some 26,000 comments from people around the world.
In a follow-up post, Herter shared: “[Christian] now has so many friends that I have to pick up a planner so I can keep all the dates and times straight!”
Beyond having friends coming over to play, Herter shared on Facebook that Christina was invited to visit a military base, received tickets to a Blues game, had 8 police officers show up to play games, had a personal visit to City Hall and a fire department, and was even sworn in as Honorary Mayor of Wentzville:
Beyond all of that, Christian was also sent countless gifts in the mail from people around the world.
Herter was hoping to find just one or two guys to hang out with Christian, and she ended up getting so much more.Whizzco