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ABC-7 Do-Gooder: El Paso boy helps lonely classmates make friends with idea for “Buddy Bench”

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Playgrounds are supposed to be fun... But at some point that wasn't the case for an El Paso 2nd grade student. 

"In kinder I didn't have lots of people to play with," said Lucas Vega a second grader at Eastwood Knolls International School.

"Nobody should be left alone," said Ms. Briones, Lucas's teacher. "We all need to be included we all need to care for others".

Lucas Vega is seven years old.

"I play basketball, tag, football, all kinds of stuff," said Lucas.

"He's probably one of the kindest students you will ever meet. He comes to school happy every day and always, no matter what kind of day it is, he has a smile on his face," said Ms. Briones.

A lonely lunch period gave Lucas an idea to spread kindness.

"I went on my computer and saw the idea of putting buddy benches," said Lucas.

"He just brought it to our attention and said, you know what? I have a lot of trouble making friends sometimes. And if we had a buddy bench everything would be so different. I feel like people wouldn't feel lonely like I did."

"I wanted to bring it to into the real world and stuff. So that everyone  people like them, they could have someone to play with," said Lucas

"And ever since then, everything's been different for him and other students here at our schools," said Ms. Briones.

"I think this is one of his first acts of many to come," said Ms. Briones.

Lucas' efforts to help his classmates feel valued has earned him recognition as ABC-7 Do-Gooder.

Lucas and his family have chosen to donate the Do-Gooder award of $1,000 to the El Paso Child Guidance Center to continue highlighting empathy towards children.

Lucas knows his idea for the buddy bench is more than just a seat. It forges friendship and inspires character growth.

"I feel very confident with it and excited and happy," said Lucas.

Lucas and all is new friends will sign the bench as their commitment to not let anyone feel alone again.

"I really hope this makes a difference for other people to make more friends around the community and and especially the school," said Lucas.

You can nominate someone who makes a difference in the community like Lucas for ABC-7 Do-Gooder. Just follow this link to the submission form on

ABC-7's Do-Gooder is sponsored by the El Paso community foundation and Gozo's ice cream.

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