A mom in New Mexico didn’t give much thought when her son asked her if she could pack two lunches for him. This went on for more than a month until she finally asked him if he was not getting full. When he told her the real reason for wanting two lunches, she felt awful.
In 2016, after the new school year started, Josette Duran, of Albuquerque, was packing lunch for her son, Dylan, when he asked if he could have two lunches. “Mama can you make me TWO lunches today?” her son asked.
One day, she decided to ask him for the reason.
“Are you not getting full boo?” she recalled her conversation with Dylan on her Facebook page.
“Yes Mom its for this boy. He only eats a fruit cup for lunch can you make him lunch too? I don’t think he has lunch money,” he replied.
Hearing this, Duran packed two lunches every day for Dylan, an eighth-grader, to bring to school.
This went on for more than a month until Dylan’s friend applied under the National School Lunch Program to receive a meal each day at school.
Duran told TODAY that she was not surprised by her son’s actions.
“I was taught if you can’t be nice, then you be extra nicer, and I’ve always raised my son to be that way. I’ve always taught him to be kind and help others,” she said. “Dylan really is the most kindhearted and loving kid. When he asked me to make two lunches, I just did it. I didn’t ask any questions because isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? We’re supposed to help people.”
Duran, who had previously been homeless, understood that the boy might be feeling embarrassed to ask for help, just like how she was.
“I was homeless a few years ago. I know how hard it is to ask for help. You get ashamed and feel embarrassed,” she said.
She added that she also felt isolated from her loved ones and friends “because we didn’t want anyone to know what was going on with us.”
Duran, who is a volleyball coach at her son’s school, had a chance to meet the boy and his mother, as the other boy’s mother found out someone had been feeding her son. She had initially felt worried after the meeting.
“Because in this day and age, when you try to help somebody, some people get offended by it. People aren’t used to kindness,” she explained. “So I was kind of scared. I didn’t want her (the mom) to think that I was stepping on her toes, or crossing boundaries, but she was very, very thankful and told me so. She told me how much she appreciated what we did.”
The other boy’s mother had lost her job, and so she couldn’t afford to pay for her child’s lunches. Despite her hardship, she managed to raise $400 for Duran to cover the costs of all those lunches, but Duran declined to accept the money. Ultimately, the $400 was used to pay off all of the outstanding lunch tabs for other children in the school.
“So now, nobody in that school owes any money,” she tearfully says in her Facebook video. “Now everyone can eat.”
Duran hoped that her story would inspire others to lend a helping hand to those who needed it.
“It doesn’t have to do with lunch. It could just be saying ‘hi’ to someone, or opening the door or saying, ‘yes, ma’am’ or ‘no, ma’am,’” she said. “It’s just about practicing kindness whenever possible.”