A 15-year-old Chula Vista resident who filled an empty bowl with his own Halloween candy while out trick-or-treating in his community was recognized by the city Tuesday for his sweet gesture.
On Oct. 31, Lawrence Malot – dressed in a Grim Reaper costume – went trick-or-treating with his friends. As the group walked up to a home in Chula Vista to collect candy, they came upon an empty bowl.
The teens walked away from the house but Malot paused. Feeling bad about the empty bowl, he reached into his trick-or-treating bag and grabbed a handful of his own candy, using it to replenish the bowl so the next set of kids wouldn’t find it empty.
The act of candy bowl kindness was caught on a home surveillance camera and the story spread, with the homeowner wanting people to know about this standout teenager who thought of others so selflessly.
This week, Malot was honored by the Chula Vista City Council for his generosity. At a community meeting, the teenager was presented with a medal.
“You are one of our champions,” councilmember Patricia Aguilar said, giving the teenager the award.
Aguilar said Malot – who is originally from the Philippines – is a shining example of what it means to be a resident of Chula Vista. In a world filled with bad news, the teenager’s story touched the community.
Referring to the movie “Pay It Forward,” Aguilar called Malot a real-life “Pay It Forward Kid.”
“This is the kid that actually does it,” the councilmember said. “Lawrence so represents Chula Vista. Lawrence is an immigrant but his spirit represents who we are as a community here in Chula Vista.”
The humble teenager smiled and accepted the medal before the council. His family – including his mother, brother, aunt and grandmother – were invited up to the front of the chambers to take a photo and enjoy Malot’s moment in the spotlight.
“Your mother has really raised a remarkable son,” Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said. “Not only did he display generosity but also empathy for others and empathy for others is an important quality that not many people have. We’re grateful that you’re a resident and a citizen of Chula Vista.”
To watch Malot’s recognition at the city council meeting, click here. To relive his memorable moment of candy bowl kindness, click here.