An 8-year-old boy changed his family’s fortune when a neighbor saw him selling flowers on the streets of Los Angeles.
Wendy Rodriguez, a Boyle Heights resident, not only bought every single bunch of flowers in the boy’s possession, but she also started a campaign to raise funds for him and his struggling father: over US$40,000 in total.
Edgar Machic Jr. immigrated to the United States from Guatemala in 2019 after his mother passed away, KABC reported. The boy’s father was made redundant amid the pandemic, so the pair banded together to scrape a living by selling flowers and to continue sending money to Edgar’s two sisters back in Guatemala.
In early July, Rodriguez was buying tacos when Edgar approached her to sell his flowers. After buying all his flowers and giving the boy and his father an extra tip, Rodriguez took a moment to hear their story.
“I was like, I cannot just not help,” she said.
Witnessing the father and son’s struggle to make ends meet, Rodriguez said: “I grew up in El Salvador and I’ve seen that so that’s nothing new. And to me to see that, but to see it here, and to experience that now, I was kind of speechless.”
Inspired by the duo’s stoicism, Rodriguez felt compelled to help further and opened a GoFundMe campaign.
Before closing, Rodriguez’s fund raised over $40,000 for the industrious 8-year-old and his hardworking father.
Edgar’s dad described Rodriguez as a “great friend,” KABC reported. The father added that he wasn’t expecting to meet her, despite the fact that she is a neighbor.
“I was going through a storm,” he said. “But thank God that God placed her on the path.”
The young Edgar added his own note of gratitude, saying, “Thank you and God bless you.”
However, the father-son duo’s journey didn’t end there.
After sharing their moving story, Rodriguez started to receive messages from other good Samaritans wishing to help the pair recover from their successive bouts of hardship.
One such person, Erik Luevanos, asked to accompany Edgar and his dad to the supermarket to help them stock up on supplies. Rodriguez connected the dots, and the foursome headed out together on July 10. Luevanos later posted photos from the outing on Facebook.
Posted by Erik Luevanos on Thursday, July 9, 2020
“Edgar and his dad sell flowers here in Los Angeles,” Luevanos said, introducing the pair to his social media followers.
“They battled a lot with all this and thank God today we put a smile on them,” he said.
In one of the accompanying video clips, Edgar rushes excitedly through the supermarket aisles, choosing food to add to the shopping cart.
In another, he sits on the back seat of the good Samaritan’s car, singing along to a pop song with a huge grin on his face.
With a little help from two new friends and a plethora of generous donors, Edgar and his father were able to take a break from street vending to make ends meet and could fulfill the responsibility to take care of each other, and their family.
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