It’s unfortunate that these days someone would pass by three kids trying to cool off in a makeshift pool and see that as an opportunity to stop, take a picture, and mock them publicly on Facebook.
But, of course, that’s exactly what happened. The now-deleted, meme-like Facebook post shows kids from San Antonio’s West Side sitting in the bed of a pickup truck that had been covered by a tarp and filled with water.
The image was captioned, “Only in the West will you see some s*** like this,” followed by three cry-laughing emojis. It was shared by 356 other Facebook users who also found the moment laughable. MySA.com managed to grab a screenshot of the post before it was taken down.
Thankfully, Todd Arredondo reacted differently. Rather than using social media to mock a family who was making the best of what they had, Arrendondo saw the photo and used Facebook to track down the family so he could hand deliver them an inflatable pool.
Thus began his campaign “Pools for Kids.” After delivering that first pool, Arrendondo decided he wasn’t ready to stop there. He set up a GoFundMe page so others could get in on helping out those in the community. So far, the campaign has raised some $4,680 in two weeks.
“The simplest acts of kindness can have the biggest impact on these young kids,” he writes on his GoFundMe page. “You can sit and read this and do nothing or you can be that person who chooses to do SOMETHING.”
Arrendondo has been able to give away 24 inflatable pools so far, and the self-proclaimed black-bearded Santa Claus hopes to continue doing so all summer long with a goal of giving away at least 100 pools.
Fox San Antonio filmed a rather touching video that features one of the families Arrendondo visited. In it you can see the incredible impact a gift as small as a blow-up pool can have.
“This has been a rough year,” Jim Leal, father of five, tells Fox in the video. “My little brother just got killed on the East Side. It’s been real hard this year. And, I work hard to provide for my kids, no matter if I stay late at night. Thank you so much for this.”
But this whole campaign hasn’t just been a blessing to the recipients. On his “Pools for Kids by Todd Arrendondo” Facebook page, Arrendondo said that “by far this has been the most amazing and humbling journey in my life. The kids and families I have met have been nothing short of amazing. Those smiles on these kiddos will be in my heart forever.”
Thank goodness for people like Todd Arrendondo who go against the grain and actually get up to help people that others simply sit back and mock.