Eureka teens’ small gesture helps family in big way

EUREKA, Kan. (KSNW) – A group of Eureka teens is now viral sensations thanks to their kind gesture.

Eureka is the epitome of small town Kansas.

“Everybody knows everybody in Eureka,” said junior Justin Zimmers.

The same goes for the town’s high school.

“I love them all to death. If there’s anything I would change about them, it’d be nothing,” said Kendall Beitz.

Beitz is a junior at Eureka Junior/Senior High School. He’s also part of the school’s FFA chapter. In late October, he and five other Eureka FFA students traveled to Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention.

After more than 12 hours on the road, the students decided to blow off some steam in their hotel rooms.

“We wanted to stretch our legs, kind of run around a little bit,” said sophomore Ethan Westerman. “We were just running around, banging doors, watching the world series, yelling at the TV about the world series, just being normal teenagers.”

The four boys and the two girls didn’t think much of their behavior. That was until a woman knocked on their door.

“She told us that they were having a hard time and she asked us to keep it down,” Zimmers said.

“I said I know you’re in town for the FFA convention and we want you to have fun while you’re here, but you were a little loud last night and you woke up my kids. I was just hoping you could be a little quieter tonight,” said Randi Amt.

Randi Amt, her husband and three kids were not just guests at the Indianapolis hotel. The family was living there after a toilet flooded their home. Amt described the situation to the Eureka kids.

“I was in shock because I never even thought somebody was living right next door that was having that sort of trouble,” Zimmers said.

“I felt this regret in what we had done. We didn’t have any idea what the situation that they were in,” said junior Tanner Wells.

That’s when Wells, the jokester of the group, came up with the idea to write an apology letter to the family and give them some money to help with their home and kids.

“I just thought we could do something for them that I think could change their day, brighten up their day a little bit,” Wells said.

“So we wrote the note, put the money in the note, slipped it under the door,” Zimmers said.

It wasn’t long after that, Amt wrote on social media about the ordeal. First, she asked if anyone knew where the students were from. Then, she thanked them for their kind gesture.

These young adults have a message that you ALL need to hear. Kindness matters. Make it a point to show kindness and compassion every day and this world will be a better place,” Amt said.

The students said they never imagined their apology note would gain the attention of people across the nation.

“None of us were expecting this. It’s just what we do on a daily basis. You get a thank you and you move on in life,” Westerman said.

“I was on top of the world. I was like yeah, I finally did something good for a change!” Beitz said.

“Made me feel pretty proud to be from Eureka and to know that I did something that impacted their lives in such a big way,” Wells said.

The two girls in the FFA group Bailey Harrison and Brooklyn Hilton were not in the hotel room when Amt asked the boys to quiet down. They said they were shocked to learn what the boys did.

“I was really shocked. I was like, ‘Are these our boys? They’re being responsible?” said Harrison.

“We were really proud of them for what they had done,” Hilton said.

Harrison and Hilton then took it upon themselves to pay it forward a second time to the Amt family. The pair offered up their seven of hearts playing card to the family. The card is meant to show someone they have made a difference or have had an impact in a person’s life. The girls said the Amt family showed bravery and strength by continuing to stay positive in a difficult situation.

“I think they just set such an example for being strong enough to do this for their kids,” Hilton said.

The Amt family used the $40 from the students to start a fund to help their city’s homeless population.

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