Boy With Cancer Gets Dream Bedroom From Teen Volunteers

Forget everything you thought you knew about teenagers. Turns out, they love to give back.

I'll admit, I got a little emotional over this one. For real:

Teen volunteers spent their weekend helping with an amazing room makeover for an 8-yr-old boy named Will who is currently undergoing chemotherapy. All of their hard work paid off when they saw Will's heartwarming reaction to his new bedroom! The room makeover was organized by Karen Morgenbesser, who founded Art from the Heart, a nonprofit that grants room makeovers to children ages 4 to 18 currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment throughout CT and NY.

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Thanks for letting us share your story, Will—and I love your new bedroom. Rock on, dude!

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DISCUSSION

heart-of-pyrite
heart_of_pyrite

No joke. I know I've mentioned it on here before, but here goes again: Last January, I camped out in 20 degree weather for 3 days to get as close as possible to the stage at a Gaga show. I, being 27 years old and friends with only hipsters, had no one to go with. I was stoked to see Gaga but dubious about all the younger people I'd surely be around. I had no plan. I had a few blankets and some donuts. My boyfriend dropped me off at the tiny tent city that was forming days before the show. There was frost on the tents and it was the bad side of town. He waited, fearing for my safety; neither of us was sure if I should stay. And then . . . teenagers appeared. You guys, THEY WERE THE NICEST PEOPLE I HAVE EVER MET. They would not allow me to sleep anywhere but in a nice warm tent (propane heater!). They let me stash my stuff and regularly use the bathroom in a nearby hotel room they were sharing and would not let me pay them a dime. They fed me. They entertained each other all weekend, and freely shared things that were super valuable both monetarily and emotionally (phones, prized possessions, expensive heelless shoes). They organized a rapidly growing line of well over a thousand hella-eager people with just a sharpee and a kind attitude. They were incredible. I'm still in touch with lots of them and look forward to being in line with them again in May!
Anyway, YES, we definitely give teens a bad rap. I think, on the one hand, they haven't yet had to approach life with a Look Out For #1 attitude because they're not paying rent yet, you know? On the other, I think internet presence and social media brings current events and social issues to teens' attention with a potency that we just didn't have before. I was born in 86; FB formed when I was in college. Prior to that, if I wanted news (and I never did), I would have to go directly to a news website, or pick up the paper, or turn on the news channel. With FB, twitter, etc—-if you want to go online for "fun", you still have a lot of "serious" thrown in front of you, and an instant way to jump in and give an opinion or click to find out more. I think that's creating more socially aware young people. It's not all sexts and Angry Birds out there.