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Community supports determined teen who sold tamales to raise money for baseball tournaments

This 13-year-old athlete in La Porte, Texas, recently learned a valuable lesson about hard work and kindness.

One rarely sees a teenage boy selling tamales, but that’s exactly what Grady Ferranti was busy doing during the weekend.

Grady wanted to play in the upcoming summer baseball tournaments with his teammates. However, his dad had just lost his job, so money was tight in the family.

Luckily, this young man is not one to be hindered by such obstacles.

Grady knew it was up to him to make it happen, so he decided to sell tamales and bottles of water in the neighborhood.

“My dad got laid off from his job, so it wasn’t very easy. We were struggling. And it was harder for me to stay in sports, it was a struggle,” he said.

The determined teen’s grit impressed many community members, and some of them even shared pictures of him online to invite other people to purchase his products.

Grady’s picture went viral, and his tamales supply quickly diminished. The following day, he only had water left to sell.

“One of Madi’s friends, Grady is out there hustling by himself to raise money to go to the World Series with his baseball team,” wrote a woman named Amberly Dalton on Facebook.

“This is one of the most polite kids you will ever meet,” she added. “Just dropped him a few more cases of water and some cash. If y’all are out and about, swing by Spencer and Underwood on the Walgreens side and grab a drink. He’s smiling ear to ear!!”

Grady’s team is set to compete in two tournaments: one in Dallas and the other in College Station. These important events were something he didn’t want to miss out on.

“It made me feel kind of sad but I still had a little bit of faith,” he said.

Grady’s dad, John Ferranti, knew they needed to come up with a way to raise money for his trips.

“It was just on a whim,” he explained. “I thought … we can make tamales (and) he can walk around the neighborhood to sell them. We can raise a couple hundred bucks. He one-upped me and wanted to sell waters as well.”

After making dozens of tamales, Grady went to the intersection of Spencer Highway and Underwood Road to start selling. That’s when a motorist took his now-viral picture.

“He’s very appreciative and some of the people noticed that and it took off on local Facebook group and virtually went viral,” said John.

With his tamales sold out, Grady returned the next day to sell waters. Even then, people kept driving to the location to buy water and show their support.

“You are doing a really good job. You are going places,” one customer told him.

One of Grady’s teachers also drove to the intersection to help his cause.

The teen’s family said that every dollar raised will be used to get Grady on the field this summer.

“It feels good … knowing they have my back. It’s a great feeling,” he said of the community’s overwhelming support.

Grady’s efforts all paid off in the end. Aside from earning enough money to participate in the tournaments, he also had extra funds to buy some new baseball gear!

We often hear people say “Good things come to those who wait,” but this young man knows that greater things are bound to come—as long as you take action.

Click on the video below from KHOU 11 to learn more about this story.

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