Grab the tissues, Mom. You know those all-too-rare stories that restore your faith in humanity? This is one of those.
It's the story of Whitney Kropp, a small-town Michigan teen whose peers nominated her to homecoming court (making her a finalist for homecoming queen) -- as a mean joke. Whitney is described as "a free spirit with few friends. Her black outfits and strange hair colors don't mesh well with other kids in the rural community."
As Whitney's mother says, "She's just sweet. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body."
Well, once Whitney got wind of her nomination being a "big old joke," she was briefly embarrassed. And then she got her optimistic groove back. "Going to homecoming to show thm that I'm not a joke," she declared on Facebook. "I'm a beautiful person and you shouldn't mess with me!"
Her tiny farm town of West Branch, Michigan, gradually heard about the high schoolers' cruel intentions (mostly thanks to a "Support Whitney Kropp" Facebook page set up by a woman from the town) and rallied around Whitney.
Local businesses offered up everything from dinner before homecoming, to salon services, a beautiful gown and shoes, and even homecoming photos. Empathetic adults offered to escort Whitney to the homecoming game, where she'll be driven around the football field with the rest of the homecoming court. And thousands of supporters plan to attend the homecoming game, sporting orange (her favorite color) "Team Whitney" T-shirts and cheering her on.