The first week of school can be difficult for a lot of children, especially younger children or those new to a district, who are faced with the daunting prospect of having to make news friends. Developmentally, a child's ability to socialize and build friendships is just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic.
One Fayetteville, Georgia elementary student, who has experienced bullying, realizes the importance of having a good friend to offer you moral support through growing pains. So, Blake Rajahn, six, wanted to make sure everyone at North Fayette Elementary knew that he would be their friend.
In honor of Blake's first day of school, his mother, Nikki, offered to make him a custom shirt.
"It could have anything — a basketball theme, football, etc. which are all his favorites," Nikki shared on her business's Facebook page. "He thought a while and said, '[Will] you please make me a shirt that says 'I will be your friend' for all the kids who need a friend to know that I am here for them.'"
Without hesitation, the mother-of-four got to work creating Blake's orange T-shirt with green text that read, "I will be your friend."
Nikki told WCNC that Blake says bullying can make school difficult, and he wanted the other students to know that he'll be there for them.
"I want to make sure that kids that are bullied know they have a friend already," Blake said.
Blake, a big brother to Brook, four, Blair, two, and Bryce, nine months, has always had "a heart for others and is very genuine," his mother tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Blake's first day of school will be on Monday, and while his friends don't know about his shirt yet, principal Lisa Moore has already requested to take a photo with him on the first day.
After being shared by over 700 people on Facebook, Nikki says that orders are coming in for Blake’s shirt.
"Ever since I posted about my son and his shirt, I have sold some and told Blake about it," Nikki wrote on Facebook. "He said, 'Oh good! Now more and more people are going to have more and more friends!'"
But Blake doesn't fully understand why his shirt is getting so much attention.
"He doesn't think anything of it actually. He is a little confused as to why it is such a big deal because he thinks everyone thinks the same as him," Nikki said.
Nikki's business, Unfading Adornments, is currently selling the "I will be your friend" shirt for $15, with part of the proceeds going to the Real Life Center, which helps individuals and families in Fayette County help navigate unanticipated challenges in their lives.
Donating to the cause, Nikki said, was also inspired by Blake.
"During the summer we had a vacation Bible school that [Blake] went to and they did a toothbrush and toothpaste drive for the Real Life Center," Nikki tells Yahoo. "He came home saying we needed to go to the Dollar Store to get some that night."
Blake's parents told him that they would take him to the store the next day, but he would have to use his own money to purchase the donations.
"He said that was fine so we asked how much he would like to spend," Nikki said. "He said, 'It's for people who don't have any, right?' And we said yes, so he very matter-of-fact said, 'Well, all of it!' and he did!"
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