A boy has found a beautiful way to cope with his brother’s death by delivering random acts of kindness in his memory.
Ben Cucci was six when little Nathan arrived into the world and lived for only nine days.
On his journey to deal with grief, New York native Ben started exploring ways to honour Nathan and discovered he wanted to help others so he began dropping off quarters [25 cents coin] at the laundrette should anyone find themselves short.
Then during a family beach holiday in New Jersey, Ben left behind a bucket of toys for other kids to find while playing on the sand by the sea.
Not content with that, the mini humanitarian began leaving lottery tickets and gift cards in random places such as in parks and on benches for passers-by to find.
Over the years, Ben continued on his mission and has now founded Nathan’s Butterflies – an organisation that promotes acts of kindness and helping others smile.
Speaking about his initiative, Ben, now 10, said: “I wanted to do something to remember him. I figured we could just help people, make people feel good, give people smiles.”
Born in the summer of 2016, Nathan’s parents say he was “sent for a reason” and they have learned amazing things about themselves, their community, friends and family.
Writing on Facebook, they wrote: “Nathan’s time here was but a blip to the world, but like a butterfly’s beating wings, he can make waves and make a difference for many.
“In honour of him, our family continues to do our acts of kindness and donations so we can help him continue to leave a mark on this world. We will never be the same because Nathan was in our lives, he existed, and he will make a difference.”
Following Nathan’s death, who died from a rare brain disorder, the family began seeing white butterflies everywhere and Ben took comfort in believing it was Nathan visiting – which sparked the name for their non-profit organisation.
And Nathan’s Butterflies just keeps growing, with Ben joining forces with local kids to form the ‘Butterfly Crew’ where lately they have been creating goody bags for essential workers at United Health Services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mum Lauren Cucci said she is elated her son’s memory lives on and is thrilled to see the campaign reach people in far-flung corners of the world – including Australia.
She said: “It makes my heart happy to see things done in memory of my child. It’s nice to see how we can lighten somebody’s load for a moment and just make them smile.”
Next time you see a white butterfly, be sure to say hello.