Have you ever seen a picture on Facebook and wanted to take action to make a difference? Well Todd Arredondo did just that. The San Antonio, Texas, native was on Facebook one evening when he saw a image that tugged at his heart strings.
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Looking at the comments, there were many “demoralizing” and hate filled speech, People were saying “lazy family,” and “raising kids to love being poor” — according to Arredondo.
“It literally brought tears to my eyes.” “I thought to myself, ‘I have to do something, I have to stop this.”
Days later he was able to find the family in the photo through Facebook. Arredondo purchased a inflatable pool with his own money for the family and hand delivered it to their door step. Arredondo didn’t just stop there though. He says the whole episode put a “burden on his heart” and he told himself he could do more. So he posted on Facebook one again see if any families would be interested in a free pool to battle the Texas summer heat and the rest is history.
Now, his project, Pools for Kids, is serving up some serious fun in the sun for families across San Antonio.
The page has already amassed more than 2,000 likes on Facebook and has amassed just under $20,000 on GoFundMe. So far, Arredondo has purchased inflatable pools and equipment for 61 families across the city — and plans to use his vacation to do so throughout the rest of the summer season. “Right now, our goal is to reach 250 families. Our original goal was only five families, but Pools for Kids has come so far, so quickly. I have to keep going,” he said.
Arredondo, who calls himself the “black-bearded Santa Claus,” says that he finds families in need of a summer joy from the campaign, where families can point him in the direction of families that could benefit from his services.
“First and foremost, it’s about the kids’ needs,” he said. “I want to make sure the kids are put first, regardless of their family’s situation.”
He added: “When you see the laughing, the enjoyment — and it’s something so simple, too, it’s a pool. It’s rewarding. It’s worth every bit of effort.”
The story doesn’t end there though, Arredondo has plans of expansion for his vision. Currently, he is in the process of turning his vision into a nonprofit organization, gathering a nationwide delivery team, and working out the financial logistics of the project.
“It’s about teaching them kindness, not greed,” he said. “Love, not hate.”