El Paso Challenge
by Sophia Greenblatt
Ruben Martinez is a motivated eleven-year-old from Texas who is trying to help his community heal from a tragic shooting. On August 3, 2019, white supremacist Patrick Crusius started shooting at a Walmart in El Paso killing twenty-two people and injuring twenty-four. To help his community, Martinez started a Facebook challenge known as the #ElPasoChallenge.
In memory of the twenty-two people who lost their lives in the shooting, Martinez has asked every El Paso resident to perform twenty-two good deeds for someone else. Some of the acts that Martinez suggested include visiting a nursing home, donating to families in need, holding the door open for others, and bringing flowers to someone in the hospital.
Good Deeds in El Paso After Tragedy
Martinez came up with the idea after he told his mother that he did not want to go shopping anymore and instead wanted to find a delivery service. Gandarilla, Ruben’s mother, told Martinez that they cannot live in fear. She explained that people in the community were kind and loving. She suggested that Martinez try to help the El Paso community improve. That is when Martinez came up with the idea for the challenge. The night he came up with this idea, Martinez set out to perform his first act of kindness – delivering dinner to first-responders. Martinez and his mom have traveled to different stores, including Walgreens and Barnes & Noble, to try and spread the message of kindness. Gandarilla said that Martinez has been feeling better and hopes that the world can improve with all of the random acts of kindness.
We applaud the work that Martinez and his mother are doing. We hope that these acts of kindness help the El Paso community heal.