A recent viral video features a random act of kindness that would lead to a group of strangers pulling together to raise more than $80,000 to help a 94-year-old tamale vendor afford medications and basic luxuries. Stories like this make our hearts smile. How about you? Judge for yourself.
When Kenia Barragan first saw Jose Villa Ochoa, she thought of her own parents. “I felt for him,” she told KTTV News, “My parents are both older, and I would hate to see my dad out selling tamales for somebody and barely making ends meet.”
Known as ‘Don Joel’, he explained that although he wanted a job, nobody would hire him because of his age. In order to keep himself afloat financially, he started to sell tamales cooked by a local woman. At the end of each arduous day, she would give him a cut of the earnings. This allowed him to buy food, but was not enough for him to afford his medications or a phone.
The 28-year-old woman was happy to listen to Don Joel’s story, but she wanted to do more. So made an appeal to her followers on Instagram for some assistance. Within a week, friends and strangers overwhelmed her with more than $84,000 in donations.
Kenia hopes this story inspires others to care more for those in their communities—and not just in terms of monetary donations. Taking the time to talk to someone who looks lonely or down on their luck can be more meaningful than we imagine.