Noah Ruiz, a 4-year-old boy from Mexico, had been patiently completing remote learning on his mother’s computer. Now the child wants his favorite treat: a SpongeBob popsicle with gumball eyes. His mother joined him until she saw the Amazon price — one case of 18 Ice Pops for $51.
Jennifer Bryant explained to her son, “Noah,” that she didn’t feel like spending 50 dollars on this. She couldn’t afford to spend as a Brooklyn mom of three, juggling a job in prison counseling and graduate studies in social service.
The boxes arrived, three of them weighing in at 70 pounds MCM Backpack each and loaded with 918 cartoon desserts valued at $2,618.85.
Bryant replied, “Oh hell no,” and rushed to check her bank account via her smartphone. Noah had somehow sent 51 boxes of treats to his aunt’s home, and Bryant was eager to collect them — even though he didn’t seem to understand how many were still waiting.
Bryant, 37 years old, asked her son innocently, “Do we have to order more?” Bryant said.
Bryant began her quest to recover her losses. It was comical, frustrating, and ultimately heartwarming. GoFundMe donors raised enough money to cover Noah’s SpongeBob Popsiclesicle addiction. Bryant is excited to have the opportunity to save for her son’s education with than $11,600 raised as of Friday.
She stated that she was always concerned Noah, an autistic child, would be misunderstood in school. Bryant hopes to send Noah to a New York school that is specifically designed for autism spectrum disorder children.
Noah is everywhere on the Internet, standing tall in his Amazon boxes wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt and Mickey Mouse jeans, as well as glasses that match the yellow of his Popsicle purchase, which brought them so much joy.
She said that most of the Popsicles, including the many not eaten by Noah, ended up melting. They wouldn’t fit in the freezer to be frozen for later.
Bryant panicked when the Amazon boxes arrived last week. Bryant tagged Nickelodeon and SpongeBob on Twitter, adding emojis in various states. She tried unsuccessfully to get her purchase refunded. She also attempted to sell the Popsicles at dessert companies but to no avail. Bryant finally vented to her classmates in a Facebook group for NYU Silver School of Social Work. She wrote, “If my tuition has been late this month,”
She said, “You can laugh about it, but you know, I am crying right now because my bank account is crying.”
Katie Schloss is a NYU classmate and had previously worked with Bryant on a project. Bryant asked Schloss to text her to ask how she could help. Schloss was granted permission to create a GoFundMe named “Noah Bought $2619 Worth Of SpongeBob Popsicles.”