도움은 수표의 형태로 왔습니다. $ 27,000, money that former student Steven Nava helped raise through a GoFundMe campaign
지난주. It was money that the former substitute teacher
, Jose Villarruel from Fontana
, 캘리포니아, said he never expected
씨. V, as his students call him, 돌린 77 3 월 11. Nava, 21, presented the check to Mr. V on his birthday, at a surprise party with other former students who came to celebrate.
When the pandemic started and classes went to remote learning, the need for substitute teachers went away, 그는 말했다. Villarruel applied to get his retirement funds so he could have some income.
He made the decision years ago to live in his car because he was sending most of his income to his wife, children and extended family in Mexico, 그는 말했다.
Early this month, Nava was getting ready for his job as a welder and heading to work around 5 오전. He noticed a man in the parking lot of the nearby senior center going through the trunk of his car.
Nava said he thought it was strange and he kept glancing at the man, thinking he looked familiar.
“Throughout the day, 나는 단지 생각하고 있었다, '기다림, wait, wait, I think that’s my substitute teacher,'” 그는 말했다, eventually realizing it was Mr. V, who taught him at Fontana High School.
Nava said he had always remembered Villarruel. “He really stuck to me just because of the way he was so nice around his students. He’d ask how your day would go, did you eat, just small little details like that. He’d be really, really funny when he took attendance.”
It took him a few days to work up the courage, but Nava returned to the parking lot and found Villarruel again. He asked him about his day and what his situation was, 그는 말했다.
When Nava learned how Villarruel had been living, he insisted on giving his former teacher the money he had on him, which happened to be $ 300.
“He gave me this big old smile and said, ‘Thank you so much,'” Nava said. “He came over to give me a hug and as he was hugging me, I saw a little tear run down his face.”
It was then that Nava told him, “I’m going to get you out of this situation, one way or another. I’m going to find a way,” 그는 말했다.
That day, Nava created the GoFundMe campaign for Mr. V, which earned $ 5,000 in a matter of hours, 그는 말했다. 다음날, a TikTok video he made about Villarruel, which has now been viewed 1.7 백만 번, helped bring the donations up to $ 27,000.
“Teachers play a huge part in our lives,” Nava said. “I felt like I needed to repay the favor.”
Seeing all of the former students come to Mr. V’s surprise party showed how much the teacher has done for the community. The outpouring also motivated Nava to do better for his community.
“You’re sort of just baffled when you find out that one of your teachers is just homeless,” Nava said. “Seeing him living and going through that struggle pretty much made me want to do this. He helped us with our futures and being the person we are today, so I wanted to help him and make sure he’s in a situation where he doesn’t have to worry anymore.”
Nava and Villarruel are now in touch daily and Nava said he’s enjoyed their conversations and helping his teacher get back on his feet.
The San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department heard about Villarruel and assisted him in getting a motel voucher on March 10, said Mike Jones, deputy sheriff of Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement (HOPE) with the county.
This will give Villarruel a place to stay for a month while longer-term housing is arranged, 그는 말했다.
“Our team works collaboratively across the county with service providers and county agencies to help people like Mr Villarruel on a daily basis,” Jones said in the statement. “It’s these efforts that help the most vulnerable population of our community move beyond homeless.”
For Villarruel, he’s trying to come to terms with his new reality and plans to take an extended trip to Mexico so he can see his family.
“It’s a great feeling to have this change and I still have to adapt to it so I can make the best of it,” Villarruel said. “It was unexpected but I accept it with an open heart and I’m ready for whatever comes next. I know good things will come.”