When motorcycle enthusiasts from Indiana rallied to support a sixth-grade boy who was being bullied, they did much more than help shine a spotlight on a pervasive problem in schools. They restored a child’s faith in human kindness.
“Anybody can make a difference,” Brent Warfield, who organized the motorcade, told MassMutual. “You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be famous. It’s easy to give back. It’s just a little bit of time.”
It’s a heartwarming reminder that when people pull together they can make a big difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable. And, in a year marked by negativity and political discord, it’s these relatively unsung acts of mutual support that are a reminder of the strength people can find in one another.
How did this display of mutuality come about?
Phil Mick’s mom, Tammy, suspected her son was being targeted by his peers. When he finally admitted that other students were calling him names and even hurting him, she turned to her community for help.
Warfield answered the call. The sales manager of KDZ Motorcycle Sales & Service had met the Micks the prior year through an event that distributed Christmas gifts to low-income families.1
After learning that the 11-year-old had been subject to ridicule and even physical attacks during his elementary school years due to his weight and socio-economic status, Warfield sent a shout out to his biker club and others in the area using social media.
The message indicated that he would be giving Phil a ride on his first day to middle school and invited others to join. When dawn broke that day, more than 50 bikers lined up to show their support, sending Phil off to school with a fresh start and a morning prayer.
Warfield said his decision to take a stand was motivated by the desire to help all kids who are verbally or physically abused by their peers. “We love Phil and we’re so glad to see him and help him, but it’s about the bigger picture,” he said. “It’s about all the kids out there getting picked on and bullied. We are here for you.”
For Phil, having someone in his corner this year has made all the difference. “He actually wants to go to school,” his mom, Tammy, said. “He’s getting A’s and B’s and he’s coming home and showing me.”
Warfield said he hopes his message of community service helps to inspire similar acts of grassroots activism—something the world needs now more than ever.
“You don’t see enough of the good stories — people coming together and doing good things for each other,” he said. “But the simplest, kindest act can mean the most in the world.”
1CNN, “A bullied kid had a rare escort to his first day of school: a group of bikers,” Aug. 4, 2017