Young people are the ones who can change the future. One person saw this and did something about it.
Like she did every morning, Gina Arnold drove her daughter Audrey to Marina Village Middle School in El Dorado Hills, California. But when she got to the school, Audrey asked her to take her somewhere else.
When Gina asked her daughter why she wanted to be dropped off at a corner she had already driven by, she was shocked by what she said.
Audrey said that every morning, a cute old man hung out on the corner. He was known for giving the students advice and talking to them before school.
Gina was worried right away. She had told her daughter not to talk to strangers, but Audrey was talking to this older man outside the collage. Gina drove around the block and back to the corner where Audrey said she saw the old man.
Wally Richardson, a veteran who lives in El Dorado Hills and is 94 years old, was the last person she saw. He had been giving them advice, which he called “Wally-isms,” since 2008.
“It doesn’t matter much that you know what’s right… One of Wally’s many lessons was, “You can’t be happy unless you do what’s right.”
Wally was also called Mr. Knuckles because he always gave fist bumps to the students before they went to class. The kids really liked him.
Wally always said, “Be kind whenever you can.”
Wally had not always come alone. He and his wife would eat breakfast in the morning and then walk to the corner to meet the students. But his wife had health problems, so he had to go alone.
Wally came to the corner for a simple reason: he wanted to see more kindness in the world, and he knew that young people were the best way to start making changes.
Wally said that, “I want them to remember something that they can use in their lives.”
Gina doesn’t mind leaving Audrey at the corner after she met Wally.
“As a parent, it’s one of the best feelings I could ever have to know that what I’m trying to teach my kids is being pushed as I drop them off,” Gina told Inside Edition.
Wally’s hard work and kindness are appreciated by more than just Gina. The Marina Village Middle School staff agrees with what Wally wants to do.
The school superintendent, Cheryl Olson, said, “It only takes one important adult in a kid’s life to change them for life, and Wally is that person with kids.”
Wally knows how important it is to be kind, so he has taken it upon himself to teach the next generation how to be kind and generous.
Wally is setting an example by being kind and giving advice. One thing is for sure: Mr. Knuckles and his Wally-isms have made Marina Village Middle School and the world a better place.