Jennifer Stevens and her husband are both active members of the Republican National Committee organization and they are both strong believers in national pride and economic growth. They don’t take the issue of migrants illegally sneaking into the U.S. lightly and they often attend rallies to learn new ways of supporting President Trump and his initiative to build a wall that separates the United States from foreign lands. They would never have thought, however, that their interest in supporting the president would eventually be trumped by their own 7-year-old son who decided to raise funds and put his money where he felt it would count most.
Stevens taught her young son to take a stand on issues in which he felt strongly, and she was far from surprised when she saw that he decided to take action regarding the wall that would protect our nation. “Benton watched President watched President Trump discuss border security, building the wall and protecting our nation and he immediately decided ‘I want to help President Trump build the wall'” Stevens wrote on the GoFundMe page that she and her husband created for their son, Benton Stevens. Stevens stated that she and her husband created the page because Benton asked to sell hot chocolate as a means in which to raise funds for the wall initiative. They were immediately faced with an onslaught of negativity by naysayers who continued to claim that both she and her husband brainwashed their son to take a stand. As it turns out, Benton decided for himself that this was something he believed in and he wanted to do something that had meaning. Unfortunately, Benton was soon learning about more than what it meant to take a stand for something you believe in…he was learning about how taking a stand could create anger and hostility from others if they disagreed with what you stood for.
The 7-year-old was faced with dealing with the anger of those who began to call him “Little Hitler” and slam him for being a little hater and racist. The child did not know how to receive the anger that was being thrown his way, so he had to lean on the strength of his parents. “I call his being guided on his desire to support the building of the wall good parenting because we instill our values in him,” Stevens said of her feelings about being called ‘brainwashing parents’ and on the naysayers who critiqued her son. “If he’s going to do it, he need to learn that there’s going to be a little backlash,” said Benton’s father to CBS Austin. Despite the backlash and hate-filled comments from other adults, Benton raised over $1,400 in cash in only 3 hours of his stand selling hot cocoa to residents in his neighborhood. The word of his intent to build the wall with his funds eventually spread, and he raised $22,000, which he donated to the Brian Kolfage’s nonprofit, “We Build The Wall.”
The biggest hurdle for both Stevens and her husband throughout the entire ordeal was fighting their desire to shield Benton from the hatred of others. Like any parent, they did not want their son to feel the harsh realities that existed when you take a firm stand on issues that aren’t always popular with the masses. Instead of blocking the backlash, the family decided to use it as an opportunity to teach Benton how to become strong, despite the challenges. They taught him how to stand firm on what he believed, how to ignore the negativity, and how to press onward to his goal. As a result of their ability to teach Benton strength, the 7-year-old ended up learning what it meant to push onward and achieve his goal.
Thanks to Benton’s contribution to the organization, the nonprofit raised over $23 million. It only goes to show that good parenting can lead to positive changes that affect us all…even if those changes are done by a 7-year-old.