This all started with going to buy a door handle. It was last summer, and I went down to this random used auto parts store, and I met this nine-year-old boy named Caine. "I'm Caine," who had taken over his dad's store with this elaborate cardboard arcade. I was his first customer.
He saw something in my son that nobody else saw, and he made a film about it.
I posted the film online four months ago. Little did I realize that both of our lives were about to change.
Finally we have a great story out of Los Angeles, East LA to be precise. When you're a lonely nine-year-old boy, an empty cardboard box can be a universe of possibility. I found this great story I wanna share with you. They're lining up to play at his cardboard arcade. This kid made his own arcade! A film maker discovered Caine's Arcade. And now? It's a movie!
When I first posted the film, I had a goal of trying to raise twenty-five thousand dollars for Caine's scholarship fund. I figured, "Yeah, well, he's dreaming." That night, my phone just started ringing off the hook.
Donations were coming in.
Now here's a live look at Caine's Arcade where you can see there's a long line of people.
The next day, it was over a hundred thousand. I was like, "What is going on?"
A nine-year-old boy now has a huge college fund. He's the talk of the town. Is he a future billionaire? What's next for this precocious nine-year-old?
The video came out on Monday. Nearly two million people have watched it. By Saturday, we had four-hour lines waiting to play Caine's Arcade. When a little boy's dream came to life...
We finally got some customers here. I told my dad that was the best day of my life.
Celebrities were tweeting. Caine's Arcade was trending on Twitter worldwide. It hit the front page of Reddit, and people started coming from around the world to visit Caine's Arcade.
U.K, London, Spain...everywhere! They've been flying and taking taxis from the airport directly to Caine's Arcade. Jack Black even came by with his kids to play. But for me, the most inspiring thing was the wave of cardboard creativity inspired in kids around the world.
Hi, Caine. This is me, Jojo Roman from facebook. I fanned you, and this is my bubblegum machine.
My game is called Basketball Groove, and if you get all four balls in you get a pencil. Cool prize, Abby!
It's called Tilta-Ball. It's made with Popsicle sticks. Thanks Isaac for the game. You're welcome!
Oh, my name is Erza, and I made this pinball machine. And I got the idea by watching a video from my dad's computer. I also made a coin slot. I get ten tries. Yeah!!!
I made a same game as...like this, but everything is different.
Come on, Beau! Beau wants to go in the car wash too.
Try my scanner. I'm just getting a paper, okay? Okay!
And I love your arcade. I'm... Man, I don't know what to say. You're just famous.
Caine has grown a lot. I mean, first of all, he's literally grown a lot. He's probably outgrown two staff shirts, and we had to make him a boss shirt.
I'm the boss. Ugh...there's a lot of work.
Caine has really come out of the shell. He talks to everybody freely now. And he doesn't stutter anymore. And he's doing way better at school.
One of the things that I've learned from this experience is how a small gesture can change the life of a child. And to think that there are so many other kids like Caine out there, who just need somebody to come in and buy a Fun Pass. So we started the Imagination Foundation. So the Imagination Foundation's mission is to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids like Caine.
I see a lot of promise in the Imagination Foundation as a way of advocacy for kids' interests.
One of the greatest challenges I think we face in education is tapping into children's natural powers of creativity. And one of the appeals of Caine's Arcade is its demonstrating how deep those powers are, and how readily people will rise to the challenge if you give it to them.
It's not enough anymore just to learn the basic kinds of language arts and math skills. Our children need to be innovators and inventors.
I think if we can make that systemic in our education systems, we'll transform the world for our children and for ourselves.
After we started the foundation, the first thing we did is we hit the ground running with the school pilot program. Within the first two months, over a hundred schools in nine countries participated using project based learning to teach kids math, science and engineering.
I told Caine that when I was a kid, I also built cardboard rockets. These were space capsules that we can actually fly in our backyard. And here I am, many years later, and I'm still building space craft, but this one: a real one that landed on Mars.
So the idea is not only to give kids the tools to build the things that they can imagine, but to also imagine the world that they can build.
Are these the flames shooting out the back of the ship? Yeah, I think we're gonna put a big flame.
Childhood imagination will take you from cardboard to this in just a few years.
Ready for liftoff? Very cool.
So Caine, here's JD.
On October 6th, the one year anniversary of that flashmob we did for you, to make your day... This year, we do a Global Cardboard Challenge, inviting the whole world to play.
十月六號，在我們為你辦的那快閃派對的周年紀念日 -- 讓你整天開心的那個派對...今年，我們要做個「全球紙箱挑戰大賽」，邀請全世界來玩。
This October 6th, the one year anniversary of the flashmob we did to make Caine's day, the Imagination Foundation is launching a Global Cardboard Challenge. Here's how to play: go to cardboardchallenge.com and sing up to host an event or find an event near you. If you want, you can set a fundraising goal to help support the Imagination Foundation. Then invite everyone you know to come out and play.
No matter how old you are, all you need is cardboard and imagination.
You can build an arcade, a robot, a rocket ship...anything that you can imagine. There are some events already being planned in kitchens in Idaho, school districts across Texas. There's a Cardboard Amazement Park being planned in Kampala. The idea is just to bring the whole world together to play and celebrate creativity and imagination.
For me, this all started with a door handle, and I ended up buying a Fun Pass. And for Caine, it started with the small basketball hoop that he won as a prize and built this whole arcade around. This October 6th, we're inviting the world to come together for a global day of play. Just imagine what we can build.