$40,000 raised for Texas boy who searched for friends after being bullied

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Tuesday, July 11, 2023
$40,000 raised for Texas boy who searched for friends after being bullied
Shayden Walker, of Amarillo, Texas, went viral after he rang his neighbors' door looking for friends, and now they've raised $40,000 for him.

AMARILLO, Texas -- A 12-year-old Texas boy whose search for friends made him a TikTok sensation has a whole new outlook on life and a lot of cash.

Shayden Walker went viral after showing up to a neighbor's house, asking them if they had any children that were his age.

"I was wanting to see if you knew any kids around 11 or 12 maybe cause I need some friends real bad," Shayden was captured saying on their door bell video.

The neighbors, the Ray family, didn't have any kids Shayden's age, but they did post the video to TikTok and it blew up, being viewed more than 65 million times. The Rays also started a GoFundMe page that has since raised about $40,000.

Shayden had been bullied by other kids, adding that he was lonely.

"He's been hospitalized because the bullying was so bad and he felt so isolated. If you see it, just advocate for that person. Just be there for that person. Do not let that person suffer," Krishna Patterson, Shayden's mom, told KFDA.

"What my life was like before... kids were manipulating me and they would be my friend, but when they ask me to do something horrible, I don't feel like they're actually my friend," Shayden said. His family adds that before going viral, he didn't have the confidence to be himself.

"He flaps his arms and makes noises that a lot of people have made fun of him, so he told me, 'I just deal with the pain of holding it in, so I don't get made fun of because of it,' and that hurt, that broke my heart," his mother explained.

Now, Shayden's confidence has gone through the roof, but he has an important message.

"How would you like it if someone were to bully you? How would that make you feel?" he asked.

The GoFundMe account has since been deactivated due to it exceeding expectations.

Shayden's family will use the money to buy him a gaming system, new clothes and tickets to an amusement park.