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MailTribune.com
  • Medford boy's good deed sparks online appreciation

  • A Medford fifth-grader has become an Internet sensation after performing a good deed.
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    • More online
      To view some of the online comments in response to Steven Cruthirds' gesture, see http://bit.ly/1hPSF2m and http://huff.to/1u9D11D
      To donate to a reward fund for Stephen, go to http://bit.ly/1h...
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      More online
      To view some of the online comments in response to Steven Cruthirds' gesture, see http://bit.ly/1hPSF2m and http://huff.to/1u9D11D

      To donate to a reward fund for Stephen, go to http://bit.ly/1hKnzbW
  • A Medford fifth-grader has become an Internet sensation after performing a good deed.
    Playing with friends last weekend in his east Medford neighborhood, Lone Pine Elementary student Steven Cruthirds found a driver's license belonging to Medford resident Jacob Fry lying on the pavement.
    Steven penned a letter to Fry, dropped the license in his mailbox, and went about his business.
    Little did the boy know that the letter took on a life of its own, garnering some 2.2 million views on at least one website and getting play on such sites as Reddit, Imgur and Huffington Post.
    "I was outside and I found it on the ground and picked it up. I showed it to my mom, and she told me if you lose a drivers license and you don't have it anymore, you can't drive and you'll have to take the bus," explained Steven.
    When he checked his mailbox on Tuesday, Fry was stunned and grateful to receive Steven's handwritten note, which was addressed to "Dear Mr." The letter ended with the boy telling Fry that someday he, too, might get the chance to pay it forward.
    "When you see something like this, I hope you do the same thing," the boy wrote.
    An avid Reddit user, Fry posted a photo of the letter online and immediately paid a visit to the return address provided on the envelope.
    "I was touched to get the letter, but when I got it, I assumed his parents made him write it," Fry said. "Then I met them and it became clear that he wrote it himself."
    After meeting Steven, Fry learned that in just a few hours the photo of the boy's letter surpassed 1 million views on Imgur — and 2.2 million within 23 hours. It was also mentioned on Huffington Post and garnered some 2,400 comments on Reddit.
    "It was just very cool. I thought what he did was pretty great, and then to see the response online was awesome," Fry said, noting that he wasn't looking forward to paying DMV fees to replace his lost license.
    While Steven wrote in his letter that he expected nothing in return — other than Fry doing a similar good deed someday — Fry presented the boy with a gently used Star Wars Lego set and a $10 bill on Wednesday afternoon.
    "He is a good boy with an even better heart who deserves rewarding," Fry said.
    When Fry met Steven, he learned the boy is mildly autistic, which made him want to reward the boy even more. On Wednesday afternoon, he created an online donation page at fundly.com, asking viewers to help him raise $1,000 for Steven.
    "He's a special kid who is concerned about others above himself. I believe that behavior should be rewarded," Fry said. "I want him to know that his kind deed is appreciated and that society will be much better off if everyone thinks like he does. He has much to teach us."
    Steven's mom, Angela Cruthirds, said she was proud of her son's good deed.
    "He was really concerned, because he thought if someone didn't have their license that they could get arrested and not be able to drive, so he wanted to get it back to the owner as fast as he could," she said, adding that the online response to Steven's good deed was unexpected.
    "For the rest of his life, he's going to be touched by this. He's just the kind of kid to do something good just to help someone. He's always thinking of others and is the most caring kiddo in the world. I can imagine how big his heart must feel right now, but he was just doing what he thought was the right thing to do."
    More than slightly stunned at his sudden celebrity Wednesday, Steven got acquainted with Fry's wirehair dachshund, Gibeard, and quietly scrolled through comments on websites where his handwriting was being viewed by thousands. Grateful for the Legos, Steven reiterated that his good deed did not require any reward.
    "If somebody loses something important and that they care about, I know they would want to get it back again," he said. "Since it was his license, I knew he would want that back and because he needed it. I didn't think of a reward, I just wanted him to have it back."
    Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at buffyp76@yahoo.com
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