Pranks typically involve mischievous acts done to make people laugh. But in this story, however, a prank was pulled to serve a good purpose.
Mediocre Films approached Melissa, a 21-year old Marine, and asked if she would be willing to participate in a documentary. She agreed, but she had no idea that she would be a part of Prank It FWD, a YouTube video series that pranks people for a good cause.
Melissa’s childhood was far from easy. She and her two younger brothers, JJ and Christian, were often separated from their neglectful mother who was in and out of prison. This led to all three of them being raised in foster homes, with Melissa coming across some bad ones and never being raised with her brothers.
She joined the Marines because she wanted structure and discipline – both of which she never experienced growing up in a problematic household. But more than that, Melissa joined the Marines because she had a bigger purpose in mind – she wanted to legally adopt her two younger brothers whom she hasn’t seen in six years.
Though both of them were doing well with their foster parents, they kept telling her that they wanted nothing more but to be with their older sister. Melissa was determined to fulfill her brother’s wishes, and she would stop at nothing to be with them.
Aside from being separated from her brothers, Melissa was also facing financial problems. She hasn’t paid a month’s rent because she lacked the money. This worried Melissa, as her limitations might hinder her chance of adopting her brothers. A judge might deem her unfit to be a parent because of her age and financial insecurity. But she was set to prove them wrong, and her only chance at gaining custody of her brothers was to drive to Alabama to plead before the court.
Prank It FWD wouldn’t let Melissa drive to Alabama without anything in hand. So the team decided to gift her with a second cell phone, food and snacks for the road, a prepaid card for gas worth $500, and $949 in the form of rent for the month! Having everything they needed for the road trip, Melissa and her two friends started their journey of 2,000 miles going to Alabama.
After three days on the road, they finally arrived at Dekalb County Courthouse for the hearing. Melissa pleaded before the court to adopt her brothers, and the court agreed!
Donning her Marines uniform, she went to her brothers’ school to surprise them with the news. The two boys were pleasantly surprised, and couldn’t be happier now that they will finally live with their sister. Melissa, JJ, and Christian went back home to California to start their new lives together.
Just when they thought things couldn’t get any better, Prank It FWD had one last surprise for the family – a brand new Toyota RAV4! Melissa and her brothers were left speechless, but the look of happiness on their faces says it all.
As one tough girl willing to do everything for her family, Melissa got everything that she truly deserved – a complete family and a fresh start.
Watch the video below from Mediocre Films to witness Melissa’s incredible story.