Our series A More Perfect Union aims to show that what unites us as Americans is far greater than what divides us. This morning, we introduce you to a Minnesota boy who's on a mission to brighten the lives of others who cannot see colors.
A special pair of glasses can color even the darkest corners for people who are colorblind. Color blindness affects one in every 12 males and one in every 200 females. When they can get those colors turned on, it opens up a whole new spectrum of possibilities.
When 11-year-old Tate Remiger slipped on a pair of special glasses, his reaction said it all.
"It changed-- just everything looks different," Remiger said.
The glasses are designed to bring color into a drab world. They allow the colorblind to see the vivid hues they've been missing.
"I just like to see what everybody else sees," Remiger said.
Remiger can do that now, thanks in part to seventh grader Jonathan Jones and his mom, Carole.
Back in November, Jones got the chance to try out special glasses as part of his science class. And when the video of his tearful reaction to seeing colors went viral, offers to help started pouring in.
"So many people, both people we knew and people we'd never heard from in our lives, were reaching out to us and sending me DMs asking to give money towards Jonathan's glasses," Carole Jones said.
The Joneses set up a GoFundMe page, not to pay for his glasses, but to buy a pair for another child. They asked for $350.
"Before we went to bed that night, we were at $1,000." Carole Jones said. Now, donations have reached over $32,000, nearly 100 times more than what was asked.
When the company that makes the glasses, EnChroma, heard about it, they committed to match the donation, which could provide at least 130 pairs of glasses.
On a cold morning just before Christmas in Cottonwood, Minnesota, a small group of kids gathered in the gym at the Lakeview School to get their glasses, enabling them to see color for the first time. One of the kids was 9-year-old Braeden Karels.
"Amazing. And it's also really-- a big experience for me to see the actual colors to things," Karels said. "And it's just really nice to see that other people can see that, too."
Jones said he wears his glasses around the clock.
"I wear these glasses 24/7 because, you know, color's amazing," Jones said. "Like, driving down the street, the green signs, the red stop signs. There's a red house in our backyard, (LAUGH) and I put them on. I was like washing my hands at the kitchen sink, and I was like, "Wow. (LAUGH) That is red."
The Jones family plans to keep their donations in state, but eventually want to help colorblind kids around the country.