BUFFALO, N.Y. — A New York teenager who helped his neighborhood rebuild in the wake of destruction didn’t intend to get anything in return.
Antonio Gwynn is one of many people who has seen videos on social media of recent protests and riots over the last two weeks.
But when Gwynn saw damage done in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, he immediately took action.
The 18-year-old grabbed a broom and trash bags and took to the streets to begin cleanup at 2 a.m. Monday after a newscast showed glass and trash throughout one of his neighborhood’s main streets, CNN reported. He continued cleaning for 10 hours.
Community members who showed up in the area later that morning saw that Gwynn had already done most of the cleanup.
When word spread about Gwynn’s service to his community, Matt Block took notice. Block found Gwynn on Facebook and took a look at his profile page.
Block told WKBW he saw Gwynn had recently written a post asking for car-buying advice. Block thought about his prized, red 2004 Mustang, which he only drove occasionally.
“I couldn’t come to grips with selling it, and this was a good way for me to get rid of it and know someone that gets it is going to appreciate it,” Block said.
What Block didn’t know was how important the car would be to Gwynn. The teenager’s mother died in 2018. She had had her own red Mustang.
“The car he sent me a picture of was the same exact car that my mom first got me. It’s the same color, same everything,” Gwynn told WKBW.
A local insurance businessman, Bob Briceland, heard about what Block did for Gwynn and decided to give back to the teen even more. Briceland is providing Gwynn with free car insurance for a year.
“I just felt compelled to help him out. We just need to get together our whole city and show people how there’s so many good people here,” said Briceland.
Medaille College in Buffalo also heard about Gwynn’s service and offered him admittance to the school this fall.
Gwynn said he plans to major in business and study mechanics on the side.
According to WKBW, he has plans to start his own car repair shop one day.
“I always wanted to be someone to help everyone with their car problems. This is a great opportunity I have right in front of me,” he told the news channel.
Overwhelmed by the community response, Gwynn said he appreciates everything everyone is doing for him.
What a fabulous gesture by ANTONIO GWYNN JR 18 in Buffalo / my STAR OF THE NIGHT - Read about this winner in the Game of Life ! https://t.co/HKbHMDl5jV— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) June 7, 2020
SOME GOOD NEWS ❤️— TheCyberChick (@warriors_mom) June 7, 2020
High school senior Antonio Gwynn Jr. was rewarded with a car and a college scholarship after cleaning up protest damage in Buffalo, New York! 👏🏾 CNN Video https://t.co/6qK0ppLdQT
Cox Media Group