Written by Jill Nossa Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00
Bonnie Arnett has been experiencing selfless acts of kindness from a group of teenage boys on a regular basis and wanted to make sure the community and school administrators were aware of the charity these young men have been offering. As a result, her grandson, Brandon Aviles, and two of his friends, Elijah Ambles and Corey Dinkins, were honored last week at both the Glen Cove Board of Education meeting on Monday night and at the Glen Cove City Council meeting on Tuesday.
“I didn’t mean for it go this far,” says Arnett of the attention she and the boys have received. “I just thought it was special...you don’t see kids like this anymore.”
For years, Arnett, who is blind, has been helped out by Aviles and his friends. What caused her to call the school and alert them of the special treatment was the boys’ good service during a recent snowstorm.
“These boys walked to my house in Sea Cliff from Glen Cove at 8 a.m. to shovel my driveway...they can’t get up at 7 a.m. for school, and they’re walking to my house in a snowstorm—in freezing temperatures—to shovel my driveway at 8 a.m.,” says Arnett.
And the fact is, this good Samaritan behavior has been going on for a long time. Arnett has been close with her grandson his whole life, and lived only a few blocks away until she had to move to Sea Cliff when he was 11. She says he was used to helping her out, so she figures it was just natural that he would come over to make sure she was okay when she moved, despite the fact the walk can take 30 to 45 minutes.
Arnett says she has a long sidewalk, a lot of steps leading up to her door, and she lives on a cliff. So she understands why her grandson would worry about her safety and well-being. Still, she is amazed at the level of dedication that he has, and very moved that he and his friends do this from the good of their heart.
“They won’t take any money; even if I give them money to get me some food, and tell them to get something for themselves, they won’t do it, they give me the change back,” says Arnett.
That charity has extended to Arnett’s neighbors, people Arnett says she doesn’t even know.
“This young couple knocked on my door and asked who those boys were; it turns out they shoveled their driveway. They wanted to give them money, buy them lunch or something, but the boys wouldn’t take it.”
During the most recent storm, Arnett says she called Aviles about 45 minutes after he left her, expecting him to be at home. Instead, he was at Ambles’ uncle’s house, who is also blind, shoveling his driveway.
Arnett was so impressed, she contacted Glen Cove High School Assistant Principal Allen Hudson to tell him all about the help the boys were providing.
“They have been doing this for years for free,” says Hudson, who is proud of the example these students are setting for their peers at the high school.
"Somebody is doing something right with these boys,” says Arnett. “They’re just good kids.”