What started out as a normal car ride from school one afternoon, ended up being so much more for Girl Scout Cadette, Jordan Davis.
Listening to the radio like they always do, Jordan and her Mother Tammi Davis were intrigued by a story on KMBZ’s radio station with Dana & Parks. They were interviewing a guest, Bob Cornelius, a dad in New Jersey who had posted a photo on social media of his son, Christopher’s back to school worksheet that was hanging on the bulletin board at his school. One of the questions asked Christopher to list his friends. Christopher responded with “no one.”
You see, Christopher has autism and Bob has always known that Christopher wasn’t doing the things that his older brothers were doing – like going to sleepovers and birthday parties with their friends. However, he didn’t realize that Christopher was starting to pick up on those differences himself until he read that worksheet.
Christopher’s story on KMBZ really struck a chord with Jordan, who is also 11 years old, like Christopher.
That evening Jordan was still thinking about Christopher’s story. She sat down with her Mom, Tammi and read more about Christopher on KMBZ’s website. “Can I write him a letter?” Jordan asked her mom. “I would love if you wrote him! Give me the letter when you’re done and I’ll mail it,” was Tammi’s response.
Three days went by and Tammi began to wonder where the letter was. Wanting Jordan to do this on her own, she decided she wasn’t going to probe.
The next day Tammi received a call from Jordan telling her that they had a lot of reading to do over the weekend. With the help of her writing teacher at Grain Valley North Middle school, Jordan collected 110 letters from all the students in her class.
“Sometimes kids really can be amazing on their own,” Tammi said.
Tammi sent a simple text to KMBZ to telling them about Jordan’s efforts and the next thing she knew was KCTV 5 was asking her for an interview. After that story ran, she was contacted by People Magazine.
Jordan’s simple act of kindness has had a worldwide ripple effect.
Through Facebook, Bob let Tammi know that packages upon packages of letters from other schools started pouring in after Jordan’s story ran in People Magazine.
“I don’t know why people are making such a big deal about this; I’m just trying to be nice.”
Attention was never Jordan’s motive in this. In fact, she had asked her teacher to keep her identity a secret so that she might avoid the spotlight or unfavorable reactions from her classmates.
“It’s not about me,” Jordan said. “It’s about Christopher; making someone else’s day and putting their life before yours.”
“It’s been difficult for me to explain to her why this is a big deal to adults. We don’t see kids reaching out to other kids to be nice,” Tammi explained.
It was her Girl Scout troop who actually first found out it was Jordan behind the letter writing campaign at their school. They were brainstorming activity ideas they had for their aMAZE journey and another girl in the troop mentioned that she liked what their class had just done for Christopher and was wondering if they could tie that into some of their work.
It was that moment that Jordan realized that she wasn’t going to be able to keep it a secret for much longer, especially with the media inquiries.
Over the weekend Tammi and Jordan read all the letters before sending them off to New Jersey. While doing this, Jordan realized just how many of her classmates and friends had at one point in time felt like Christopher.
It was every single one of them.
“Like I told Christopher’s Dad, his post opened up a conversation for Jordan and me. Now she’s opened the conversation for other kids to have. In writing their letters to Christopher, it’s going to keep the conversation going,” Tammi said.
Today Bob’s original post has 54,436 shares, and counting. Christopher has received letters from all over the world and garnered support from celebrities, athletes and even the President of the United States. He’s received tokens of friendship such as soccer balls, art and gift certificates. What started out as just one story of a boy on the 1,100 miles away has touched the hearts of thousands around the world.
Jordan and Troop 319 plan to continue to keep in touch with Christopher and write him letters throughout the year and make sure he receives some Girl Scout cookies when the season arrives!
If your girl or troop wishes to follow Jordan’s lead you can send letters to Christopher Cornelius at 96 Valley View Drive, Rockaway, NJ 07866.
Thanks to Jordan for stepping up and showing all of us what it means to be a G.I.R.L., go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leader!