"Love, not hate." That's the mantra of a man named Todd Arredondo of San Antonio, TX, who recently stood up to do something SO shocking after he saw people cruelly mocking some children on Facebook for a sad reason.
The now-deleted photo showed a family on the west side of town using a tarp in a truck bed as a makeshift pool last month so that their young kids could cool off in the heat. As the photo went viral, people posted overwhelmingly "insensitive" comments making fun of the family--things like "lazy family," and "raising kids to love being poor"--which prompted Arredondo, 31, to take action.
"It literally brought tears to my eyes," he told TODAY. "I thought to myself, 'I have to do something, I have to stop this.'"
The following day, he tracked down the family he had seen on Facebook and surprised them with an inflatable pool that he bought with his own money. The kids were so thrilled and grateful that Arredondo was inspired to do more.
He began asking friends on Facebook if they knew of any more families who might appreciate a free pool for the summer--and very quickly, his brilliant charity, Pools for Kids, came to life.
Arredondo's mission has already raised over $10,000 on GoFundMe and enabled him to purchase inflatable pools and equipment for 61 needy families across the city. That's a lot of kids with big smiles keeping cool in the sun--and there will be plenty more to follow, as Arredondo will use his own vacation to purchase more pools and hopefully reach 250 families.
"I have to keep going," he said. "First and foremost, it's about the kids' needs. I want to make sure the kids are put first, regardless of their family's situation."
He is also receiving messages and offers of support from people all over the country who want to help, which he called "amazing."
"This mission is to show kids the meaning of generosity, because the smallest acts of kindness can make the biggest changes," he said.
Amen to that.