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Students in Rhode Island build bus hut for 5-year-old boy in need

Public transportation seems difficult for some people, especially when they are disabled. Thanks to the kindness of the high school students in Rhode Island, this little boy in a wheelchair eventually can find a place to shelter while waiting for the bus each morning.

Most kids would be able to stay inside until the bus comes down the street and then run out, but that is clearly not an option for Ryder Kilam because he can’t walk.

“With Ryder being in a wheelchair, unfortunately, it’s about 75 feet from our house to the bus,” the boy’s father, Tim Kilam, told WJAR. “He’s not the typical child that can run out when the bus comes.”

As a result, Ryder is outside in spite of any kind of weather. The family initially set up a handmade area at the end of the driveway, but blustery weather became a problem as autumn advanced.

“We ended up having an old patio umbrella standing out here to keep him dry but with the wind blowing and stuff it just didn’t work,” Tim Kilam added. “So we decided to reach out to the community. We actually put a post on Facebook looking for friends that maybe knew somebody that had one that they were no longer using.”

Dan McKena, the teacher of Construction Technology class at the nearby Westerly High School saw the post and got his class to build very own “bus hut” for Ryder.

The Kilam family paid for the rest of the wood after Home Depot provided roughly $300 worth of it.

“The reason we put a rush on it was we knew snow would fly and we didn’t want Ryder sitting outside under his umbrella throughout the winter,” McKena told the television station. “I think they did a great job with everything. To come up with a final product like that, I was proud of them.”

Ryan Killam now loves his new hut so much.

“He actually after school makes us stay out here and hang out, now it’s his new fort,” Tim Kilam told WJAR. “The community, they’re incredible, they’ve come forward a couple of times for Ryder. It’s unreal how everyone comes together to make things work for everybody.”

“The family sent me a photo of Ryder in the bus stop and his grin, his smile, I think my response to that email was just, ‘Priceless,’” McKena told the television station. “That one photo that the family sent me made it all worth it and I shared it with the students that were involved in the construction.”

This may be another heart-warming story in this giving season. To the high school students, it was a good opportunity for them to express their love and kindness to a little boy in need.


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