Sometimes the only way to cool off during the summer is to jump in the pool, but when you don’t have one, your only option is to get creative.
Some folks might use a garden hose to cool off, while others might throw water balloons at each other. And then you have the more ambitious people who decide to fill a truck bed with water in order to create their own swimming pool.
In 2016, Todd Arredondo saw a photo of a family’s makeshift pool, and noticed that the family was mocked instead of receiving praise for their genius idea. He hoped to put an end to the rude comments.
Arredondo wanted to find the family who were victims of the online bullies.
“My mind was just set on buying one pool and that was it,” Arredondo told mySA.com in May 2017. “Everything changed as soon as I delivered that one pool and as soon as I saw that kid’s smile.”
Arredondo, who is from San Antonio, Texas, was able to track down the family in the viral photo and give them an inflatable pool at no cost.
Pools for Kids began after a family was ridiculed for how they cooled off.
After donating the inflatable pool, he became inspired to help other kids and their families who might be in similar situations.
He told KENS 5 in May 2018 that after his first delivery he intended to locate five more families in need, but “long story short, to date, we’ve helped more than 350 families nationwide with swimming pools.”
Arredondo locates families in Texas and surrounding states before making his annual trip.
Eventually word of his project, Pools for Kids, began to spread and people started to donate to a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for pools.
Arredondo, who owns a small business, used to take the summer off, but he told mySA.com that seeing children’s faces light up when they received an inflatable pool was much better than any vacation.
In 2017 Pools for Kids became a nonprofit organization.
Every summer Arredondo visits deserving families and gives them a pool.
This is what drives me everyday . The feeling of turning a corner and rolling up on a random family keeping their kids…
In July 2017, Arredondo approached a family in Las Vegas, Nevada, after seeing them playing outside. He asked if he could give the children a pool and began explaining his organization to the children’s mother when all of a sudden she started crying and hugged him.
A few days earlier her kids had asked if they could purchase a pool, and while they did have the money, it was just enough for either the pool or essentials for the house. The mother chose to provide for the home.
“I looked back at her and grabbed her this time and gave her a bigger hug,” he wrote. “And explained that why I started this journey to reward people like her who do the best with what they have.”
“Out of all the delivers I have done this has to be one of the most touching and heartfelt deliveries I’ve done.”
Each family is just as thankful as the last.
In addition to delivering some summertime fun, Arredondo said he’s also teaching children the importance of assisting others.
“I’ve always had a big heart, I’ve always loved helping people,” he told mySA.com. “I grew up super poor and I’m not close to being wealthy, but I’ve learned that it’s not what you have or where you live, life is about what you give.”
You can follow Pools for Kids on Facebook.