Meet Caine Monroy, lifting spirits, one game at a time

Last night I came home from work and flipped open my laptop, only to be (pleasantly) bombarded by Facebook posts, Tweets and articles all about sweet little Caine Monroy, a 9-year old from East L.A. with a bright smile and a knack for…cardboard engineering.

Last summer Caine accompanied his father to work in his used auto parts store and to keep busy, decided to build a game arcade out of cardboard. Now, although most kid projects are cute, this arcade wasn’t your run-of-the-mill, fruity markers scented, cardboard cut-out creation. This arcade featured mini basketball, soccer with plastic battle guy defendants, tickets that come out of each game as you earn points, a toy grabber machine and much more!

As neat as this arcade was, Caine didn’t receive much business from his father’s clients and the students in his class refused to believe him when he talked about his latest project at school. He persevered though, held his head high and continued to construct his masterpiece.

Finally, his hard work paid off when filmmaker, Nirvan Mullick came into the shop. He immediately took notice of Caine’s arcade and when he asked about how much it cost to play, Nirvan opted for the $2 “Fun Pass” which gave him 500 turns instead of the 2 turns he’d get by paying $1. Thoroughly impressed by the arcade, Nirvan decided to make a video about Caine and it didn’t take long for his story to go viral. The filmmaker also organized a Flashmob to show up at the used auto parts store one day which created a huge amount of publicity and energy around Caine and his arcade. According to an interview with the Huffington Post, Caine was ecstatic about his boom in business and told his father, “Dad, this is the best day of my whole life.”

I hope you can take a little time out of your day to watch this video. It brought me to tears! Life is crazy and we all have a million things to do, but this story just goes to show how taking a couple minutes to pay attention, maybe shooting a few hoops at the nearest kid-approved cardboard arcade, could change the course of someone’s life.

Learn more about Caine and his arcade at:

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.


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