The coronavirus pandemic has increased the social and economic problems of thousands of families not only in Spain, but also around the world, leaving overwhelming economic impacts that are difficult to solve. This has been the case for a substitute teacher in Fontana, California (United States). José Villarruel was affected by the school closures in May 2020 and was forced to resign from his teaching position as a result.
José was sending money to his wife and children in Mexico every month, his pension was not enough and his debts were multiplying, so he took a job as a welder where the shift started at five o’clock in the morning. But an angel came to his car. Steven Nava, a young man from the city, watched as an elderly man abandoned the car that had become his home. Determined, he went over one day to find out about his situation, what he didn’t expect was to meet his former Fontana Unified School District teacher. Nava was so moved by this story that he gave him the $300 he had, posted his story on social media and set up a Go Fund Me page so people could donate to Jose’s cause.
TWITTER FRIENDS PLEASE HELP! every morning/ night I’ve always noticed this older man that would stay out in his car constantly at this parking lot near my house even when the weather was bad. He looked familiar and I’m sure alot of y’all have had him as a substitute in Fontana… pic.twitter.com/3hFpIAOMCO
— stvnna ⚡️ (@thesteven7) March 6, 2021
Just six days in and they had already raised more than $27,000. Nava, along with other alumni who heard the story, decided to surprise him in person on 11 March, José’s 77th birthday.
The CNN reported and got in touch with José, who was very emotional. The former teacher declared that “from the bottom of my heart, I had to summon all my strength not to get emotional or nervous. It was unexpected, but I accept it with an open heart and I am ready for whatever comes next. I know good things will come.
In addition, Nava updated every day the news about José’s situation, where he also published in one of the comments the link where citizens could donate to facilitate the process.