Most 13-year-old boys would rather not take in the details of what’s going on around them. But others, like William Preston, are ultra-sensitive to the stress of others.
Kids just know
When the teen from Fernley, Nevada wasn’t playing on his X-Box, he knew his single mom was struggling to pay the bills for him and his sisters. And while most parents try hard not to put those sorts of burdens on their children, the stress comes out in lots of ways.
Kids know when something is up.
But William not only caught on to it, he went out and did something about it in a BIG way. Perhaps just as importantly, he didn’t do it for the attention and didn’t want the credit – he just wanted to help his mom and take on what he thought his duties were as the “man of the house.”
As a result, he warmed hearts around the country when his story came out in April of 2019.
A bump in the road
William’s mother Krystal June Preston said in a Facebook post (since deleted) that the family had recently fallen on hard times:
“The last couple weeks have literally been hell filled with so many tears, anger, confusion, and heartache.”
While she has kept the specifics of her family’s struggles private, she was willing to share what her son had done for her.
The teen told the local ABC News affiliate KOLO that he knew one of the main problems his mother faced was the loss of her car to get to work and drive her kids where they needed to go.
“I saw on YouTube where people get their mom a car and then surprise her with it,” he said. “I wanted to do that.”
William didn’t specify which video had given him the idea, but it hardly matters. The next problem he faced was how – as a 13-year-old – he was going to afford a car that would get the job done.
Getting the car
He was already doing chores for neighbors to earn extra cash but knew that wasn’t going to cut it. So he decided to step up his efforts. In her post about his gesturer, his mom called him “a lawn mowing, yard cleaning, money-making machine.”
The teen then found a white 1999 Chevy Metro being sold on Facebook and reached out to offer the woman selling it a trade – his X-Box and some yard work for her car. It still wasn’t an even trade, but William wasn’t old enough to realize that.
And you know what they say: “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”
William told ABC 8 that at first, the woman declined the trade:
“It was really cheap so I asked her if I could trade it or earn it, and at first she said no.”
Apparently, the woman thought some more about it and realized she would help the teen out – “…then she said yes.”
When her 13-year-old son came home and said he had a car for her, her reaction was what you might expect.
“William came home and said, ‘Mom I bought you a car.’ I of course laughed and told him, ‘Ya right!’”
But as her son explained the situation, she realized he was telling the truth and she was overcome with emotion.
“I completely lost it. I started balling my eyes out. I am speechless my 13 year old son bought me a car. He did some work for this women and that was his payment that he worked out with her. And here I thought it was a joke… Nope I was handed the keys and paperwork to the car and I’m freaking out but so in shock.”
Tens of thousands of people have now liked or shared the Facebook post with the teen proudly standing in front of the car, but William is a little embarrassed by all that.
“I didn’t really want that to happen,” he told ABC 8. “I just wanted to do it, that’s all.”
A way forward
Days after the good deed, Ms. Preston set up a GoFundMe page explaining that William did it all – chores included – despite some disabilities.
“He was born with a severe case of bilateral clubfoot. So from a week old William had surgeries and casting in both legs for years. He never once couldn’t do something he set his mind to. Learned to walk with a cast on and everything.
William also has ADHD and it’s been a struggle for him so a couple years… “
The story touched so many people that the family reached their $13,000 funding goal, even more quickly after Ms. Preston shared that the family’s beloved dog had died.
Preston added on Facebook how proud she was of her son:
“He is such a good kid. He may have his days but OMG what 13 year old kid do you know that buys his mom a car… William I love you son and thank you. You have such a big heart and I love you…”
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