Photo courtesy of CNN
By Jareen Imam
(CNN) — The boy who wrote a letter to Santa asking him to help stop bullies from picking on his twin sister has a lot of new friends now.
Friends like actor and comedian Stephen Kramer Glickman, who plays the manager of a boy band on the Nickelodeon show “Big Time Rush.”
When Glickman heard about 8-year-old Ryan Suffern’s letter asking Santa to help stop the bullying his sister was experiencing at school, he was touched by Ryan’s efforts.
“When I saw this, it hit me and I was like I gotta get in touch with this family and try to reach out to these kids,” he said.
In his letter to Santa Ryan writes that he wanted a remote control car and helicopter, but adds :
“I don’t want that anymor. Kid at school are still picking on Amber and its not fair.”
“I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help.”
At the end of the letter, Ryan also asks if “Big Time Rush” could come to the twins’ birthday party:
“Can you ask Big Time Rush to come to Amber’s B-day party It will make her so happy. If you can’t get them to come … just get her everything she ask for.”
Glickman said he understands the terrors of bullying. He was an adventurous dresser and heavier, and shorter than the rest of his peers at an early age, he said, and was routinely picked on in seventh and eighth grade. The bullying got so bad that he had to drop out of junior high school, and was home-schooled, he said.
“Kids were terrible to me when I was in school,” he said.
Glickman recorded a video and sent it into CNN iReport for the twins. In the video, he tells Ryan and Amber to remember all the friends they have now. He was not only referring to himself, but also the “Big Time Rush” Nickelodeon band who now knows about Ryan’s letter.
“I can’t give too much information, but I can say this. I think Christmas might come early this year,” Glickman says in the video.
The Nickelodeon star wasn’t the only one to reach out to the family. After Ryan’s letter to Santa went viral, the Sufferns were overwhelmed by the generosity of others. Karen Suffern, Ryan and Amber’s mother, said she could not imagine such an outpouring of support from people. Many have reached out to her, looking to donate gifts and money to the family.
“I’m not comfortable with that, I don’t want it turn out that it was all about money,” she said. “I’ve been telling people thanks for your support and your prayers.”
When she first shared the letter online with friends and people like blogger Tony Posnanski — who first posted Ryan’s letter onto CNN iReport where it gained thousands of views and shares — she just wanted to spread awareness of bullying. Suffern flew up to New York on Wednesday to share her story with “Good Morning America” and has been contacted by “Dr. Phil” and the “Today Show.”
Suffern isn’t used to all the attention, but she said the experience has humbled her and showed her the positive side of people. Even the twins are seeing some changes at school.
Ryan knows something is happening, Suffern said, “because when they went to school yesterday, he said ‘Mommy, I have new friends.’ ”
“Other people said they’re going to help look out for Amber too, and make sure they don’t mess with her. I thought that was so sweet,” Suffern said.
She said at first Ryan was embarrassed by all the attention, and even Amber was oblivious.
“She had no idea what was going on until she talked to the ‘Good Morning America’ producer,” Suffern said. “She didn’t know Ryan wrote the letter.”
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