In a heartwarming twist to what started out as a tragic tale of bullying, Quaden Bayles’ family is saying they will donate over $360,000 that was raised to send the nine-year-old boy to Disneyland.
The fundraiser was started in the wake of a video that Quaden’s mom posted online. The clip was heartbreaking, showing the young boy, who is Aboriginal and lives with dwarfism, crying and expressing suicidal thoughts over a reported incident of bullying. Quaden’s mom called out adults in leadership positions for what she believes is a lack of action in stopping bullying.
Comedian Brad Williams saw the video and started a fundraiser to send Quaden to Disneyland. The fundraiser took off and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the little boy. But now, Quaden’s aunt, Mundanara Bayles, has told NITV that the family will instead be donating the money to local charities.
“What kid wouldn’t want to go to Disneyland, especially if you have lived Quaden’s life? To escape to anywhere that is fun that doesn’t remind him of his day to day challenges? But my sister said, ‘You know what, let’s get back to the real issue.’ This little fella has been bullied. How many suicides, black or white, in our society have happened due to bullying? We want the money to go to community organisations that really need it. They know what the money should be spent on, So as much as we want to go to Disneyland, I think our community would far off benefit from that,” she said.
Dwarfism Awareness Australia and Balunu Healing Foundation are two charities that the family is reportedly considering as recipients for the money.
Quaden’s situation may have started off as sad, but with the international support he’s been receiving and now hundreds of thousands of dollars that will be going to charity because of the kindness of strangers, it’s beautiful to see that so much good has come out of it.