A 4-year-old girl struck up an unlikely friendship with Colorado woman Sherri Gonzales earlier this month by shouting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” while shopping at Home Depot with her mother.
Sherri said she was having a bad day and went to Home Depot to buy some flowers to plant. She saw 4-year-old Camryn enter the store with her mom Caasi. Sherri had just turned a corner onto the next aisle when she heard the girl’s voice.
“When I turned the corner I heard ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ and it was really loud. I immediately turned around to look for her,” Sherri recalled.
“She said it with strength— like she was making a point.”
Sherri was brought to tears and approached Cam and Caasi to thank the little girl for her support and solidarity.
“When I heard her voice, I knew she was young, but I didn’t know how young. When I saw her, my heart felt warm with joy and happiness that parents of other races are getting it and teaching their children that people of color have had a hard time for a long time and its time to treat them with kindness and respect as you would want to be treated,” Sherri told Bored Panda.
Caasi took a picture of Cam with Sherri. The little girl noticed Sherri’ Bronco’s necklace and told her new friend of her dream to someday cheerlead for the team.
Coincidentally, Sherri’ son is D.J. Williams, a Denver Broncos linebacker.
So there was only one place for the new friends to go from there— Camryn asked her new friend Sherri to come over for a sleepover.
Sherri said, “As I was getting ready to leave, Cam said ‘Can I ask you one more question? Would you like to come over for a sleepover?’ That’s when I could feel the emotions starting to take over. I said ‘Yes, I would love to!’”
Sherri and Caasi exchanged numbers, and a week later Caasi reached out to coordinate a donation to Sherri’s nonprofit Sherri’s Girls Empowerment International. The family was having a garage sale and Cam had the idea to donate all proceeds to Sherri’s organization.
Sherri told CBS Denver that the 2-day garage sale raised $2,070.
“[They] donated every penny to my school in Kenya,” she said.
And YES, of course the sleepover happened:
“I spent several hours at her home hanging out. She had lots of questions for me. She wanted to see a picture of my mom, my cat. She even went to change her outfit and found something that looked like my dress. When she came out she said ‘I have a dress like Ms. Sherri’,” Sherri said.
After meeting Cam at Home Depot Sherri shared a message of hope on social media. She wrote, “Today was a good day. The youth is going to change the world.”
It’s true— already so much good has come of the unexpected friendship.
“All of this happens because of a sweet little 4-year-old recognized that my life matters,” Sherri said.