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First grader reaches out to Sandy Hook children
Adriel Martinez might only be 6 years old, but his heart is much bigger than his small frame.
On Dec. 20, three days after the Newtown, Conn, shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead, Adriel took a card to school to have his first-grade class and his teacher sign it.
Adriel, son of Emelina and Victor Martinez, is a first grader at St. Anne’s School, who expressed great concern when he learned about the Sandy Hook School shooting.
“He said, ‘Mommy, he’s my age,’ referring to a little boy who died in the Sandy Hook School shootings,” said his mother Emelina Martinez.
Adriel then asked his mother why the “bad man” shot the child and his friends.
“It’s so hard to explain to a 6-year-old something that I don’t understand myself,” Martinez said. “That Friday, I didn’t do anything different. I hugged him, told him I loved him and told him tomorrow isn’t promised to us, so I live in the moment that God gives me today.”
What amazed Martinez was that her son took it upon himself to do something to show he cared.
“He had sat at the table designing the envelope with his new art supplies he received from a gift-exchange at school. He wouldn’t let me see. He kept covering it with his hands,” Martinez said. “Finally he said ‘It’s done mommy. You can look now.’”
Adriel drew a Santa, an elf, a Christmas tree and an angel, but the words he wrote brought tears to her eyes, she said.
“His words were loud and clear — ‘We love you’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ — with two big hearts, my eyes quickly filled with tears,” Martinez said. “I was so proud of my 6-year-old boy, showing compassion for others. I told him, ‘That’s the meaning of Christmas.’”
Martinez said she took her son to the post office and the two stood in line to get a postage stamp.
The postal clerk saw the card, read through it and was also touched by her son’s kind gesture and proceeded to hold up the card for the other clerks to see, Martinez said.
The child was assured that the card would make it in time for Christmas.
“I told my son ‘Little Emily Parker [one of the Sandy Hook victims] is proud of you because she too drew cards to give to people when they were sad or needed uplifting, her daddy said,’” Martinez said. “He told me he hopes his card does the same thing.”