The Wonderful Way This 8-Year-Old Is Honoring His Best Friend’s Life
Connor Herrero and Connor Jacobs shared a first name and an inseparable bond.
So when Jacobs, who lived with cerebral palsy and was nonverbal, unexpectedly died in May, Herrero knew immediately that he wanted to do something big to honor his best friend’s memory.
“We loved each other as much as the universe could take. Basically we just could not be separated,” 8-year-old Herrero told AL.com. “The day I heard about when he died, that’s when it struck me our hearts are too strong to be broken. I just really miss him and I’m sad that he’s gone.”
Herrero and Jacobs had dreamed of one day playing on an inclusive playground together, but none existed near their home in the Pelham, Alabama. So, in honor of Jacobs, Herrero set out to fundraise for Carly’s Clubhouse, a fully accessible playground that’s currently in the works.
The playground will stretch 30,000 feet and will feature cooperative games, sensory rich activities and quiet areas to ensure children with and without disabilities and their families can play together.
To help raise money for the playground, Herrero organized a campaign where students at the local elementary and middle school could pay $1 to wear a hat to school. He raised $755 between the two campuses, AL.com reported.
Herrero is now on the Carly’s Clubhouse junior board, which aims to work with the city to raise the $800,000 needed to fully fund the playground. With help from his mother, Ashlea Herrero, Connor Herrero also set up a GoFundMe page in the hopes of raising $20,000. So far, the page has raised just more than $1,700.
“I want to do it because he was my best friend and we never got to play on playgrounds together,” Herrero said, according to his GoFundMe page. “And Carly’s Clubhouse… when it is built, me and Connor could’ve played together and could’ve played with typical children like me. And if another friend has a disability, they can go there and play.”
To learn more about Carly’s Clubhouse and contribute to Herrero’s campaign, check out his GoFundMe page.
All photos courtesy of Ashlea Herrero.