A 24-year-old Missouri man is at the center of a viral story after his mother’s desperate plea to find him some friends.
Christian Bowers, who has Down Syndrome, went viral earlier this month after his mother, Donna Herter, took to social media seeking friends for him to play video games with. She even offered to pay.
“I’m looking for a young man, between the ages of 20-28 who would like to make some extra money,” she wrote. “Two days a month for two hours, I’ll pay you to be my son’s friend. All you have to do is sit with him and play video games in his room. Nothing else.”
“He’s 24 and has Down Syndrome and doesn’t have any friends his age,” Herter continued. “You will not be alone with him, myself or his grandpa will be home. Obviously, he won’t know you are getting paid, but that you are there for him those 2 days. The pay is $80 for 2 hours.”
The social media post was received positively by the world, going viral with over 60,000 shares and 26,000 comments.
Billy Mayhall, the founder of St. Louis nonprofit STL Youth Sports Outreach, told KMOV he caught wind of the story and was moved by Herter’s post.
“That was a really heartbreaking post, it really was,” he said. “People now are starting to see a lot of these kids with special needs need somebody in life, just like we do, no different.”
He then called up his friend Derk Brown, who has a large social media following, and together they enlisted other donors to surprise Bowers with a 65-inch flat-screen TV, a new TV stand, a wireless sound bar, St. Louis Blues tickets, and snacks for gaming sessions.
Bowers was appreciative of the gifts and his new friends saying, “It’s big! It’s like heaven.”