A 20-year-old woman from Orange County, Florida, received a surprise from a group of generous anonymous donors.
Samantha Rodriguez, a 20-year-old, was the oldest of her siblings. After the children lost their parents to cancer, the 20-year-old took on the role of the caretaker to tend to her siblings, according to WCNC.
When she received a vehicle from Orange County Sheriff’s Office, she was overjoyed—it was a load off of her shoulders, and she could use the car to get her family around with much ease.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office posted a video of Rodriguez receiving the gift on to Facebook. In the video, she voiced how thankful she was to receive such a wonderful gift.
“You don’t know how much this means to us,” she said, according to the news outlet. “It’s such a big help.”
For Rodriguez, on top of raising her siblings, ages 6 to 15, she also had to take care of other aspects of being responsible for a family—and it was hard on the oldest Rodriguez sibling.
“Doing everything on my own is very hard,” Rodriguez said when the Orange County Sheriff’s Office presented her with the car, “but I’m so glad to have people like you guys in my life.”
She drove the car home and surprised her siblings with the car, with their reactions captured on video. The kids were climbing into the seats, very shocked. At the end of the video, they expressed their appreciation by thanking the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for the gift.
PLEASE SHARE: Our community is amazing! After hearing the Rodriguez kids’ story, a group of anonymous donors did this for Samantha, 20, who is raising her five younger siblings after both of their parents died. #ActsOfKindness
Posted by Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida on Thursday, April 4, 2019
How it Started
When the Sheriff’s Office heard about what happened to the family, they were determined to give the family a Christmas that they’d never forget, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter.
The Sheriff’s Office’s Aviation Unit invited the family to join them in the aviation hangar in December 2018 for what the family thought was a tour, but it actually was a surprise for them. When the family arrived, they found a pile of presents just waiting for them.
There was even a Santa sitting in the room, waiting to give the children their presents.
The kids had a great time with the officials during the festivities, and the kids even got a ride in one of the Aviation Unit’s helicopters.
“It was such a blessing to have the Aviation help us with Christmas this year, they did way beyond and we were really grateful, and we just wanted to say thank you to everyone that helped,” Rodriguez said, in the Twitter video.
The Sheriff’s Office also posted about the family on Facebook, and soon after, comments started rolling in, with people asking what they could do to help the family.
The Rodriguez kids lost both of their parents to cancer in recent years. 20-year-old Samantha has taken on the role of caregiver of her five younger siblings. The kids thought they were visiting the OCSO Aviation Unit for a tour. Instead, they received a Christmas none of us will ever forget!
Posted by Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida on Monday, December 24, 2018
Others started donating money, in hopes that they would be able to offer some assistance, and soon enough, they had accumulated enough to buy a car for the family.
“Our community is amazing! After hearing the Rodriguez kids’ story, a group of anonymous donors did this for Samantha, 20, who is raising her five younger siblings after both their parents died. #ActsOfKindness,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a tweet.
Commenters on both Twitter and Facebook voiced their amazement that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office was able to give the family such an amazing gift.
One of the commenters wrote, “So Beautiful! God bless them and the men and women of the OCSO.”
There were other commenters who gave their condolences to the Rodriguez family, writing, “how sad for these kids to lose both parents. What the [Orange County Sheriff’s Office] did for them was cool, though. So great of Samantha to take on this responsibility and keep the kids together!”
In the original post, many were commenting on how wonderful the 20-year-old was for taking on such a huge responsibility, while others were praising the Sheriff’s Office for doing what they could to help the family out.
“What a wonderful selfless act for that 20 yr old to take such a huge role and this crew to help!! What a true blessing,” one commenter wrote.
Another user wrote, “This is what Christmas is about! What a kind gesture from the OCSO aviation unit!”