It’s estimated that, globally, there are 1.6 billion people who reside in poor housing, with roughly 15 million people evicted each year.
Homelessness affects people of all ages, races, and backgrounds, and for many people, there is no easy way out. We don’t often hear the stories of those who are living in such conditions, so it can be easy to forget.
But then, a powerful story like this comes along, and it reminds us just how much of a difference we can make in the lives of others.
A Boy With No Options
One day while traveling in Paraguay, a TikTok user named Aaron Murphy happened to meet a young boy named Enrique. Enrique lived with his mother and seven siblings near a dumpster, where Enrique had built something resembling a home from pieces of garbage that he had found.
It wasn’t always like this. The family used to have a house until one day, Enrique’s stepfather burned it to the ground. Sure, the police caught him, but the damage had been done. The family had nowhere to live and very few possessions. The kids were forced out of school and onto the street.
Together they did what they could to make ends meet. They collected trash and recycling to earn money and buy food. They drank local water that often left them sick. Enrique wasn’t ashamed of their circumstances, though, and when he met Murphy, he showed him around the small home willingly. He even showed off the Dragon Ball Z murals he had made to make the place feel more like home.
The Power of Social Media
Murphy was so moved by this family’s story that he shared it on TikTok and put a call out for donations. He promised that every dollar would go toward building them a new home and helping them to get back on their feet.
Soon, through the power of social media, this family was $31,000 richer than they knew. Murphy got to work on securing them a new home and had their new neighbors set the place up with new furniture and paint. He also purchased toys for all of the kids and set them up with bedrooms. Of course, he put a personalized Dragon Ball Z poster in Enrique’s room.
Then, he invited the crew over for a McDonald’s lunch — it was their dream to try it. They thought they were just visiting Murphy’s home until he handed the mother the deed. Of course, she immediately teared up.
“God exists. Yes, he does,” she said in the video Murphy shared.
Not only did everyone’s generous donations ensure that this family was no longer living on the streets, but the kids were able to return to school, and Murphy helped the mother set up a small restaurant so she could hopefully begin to earn money.
“[You] gave Enrique his childhood back,” Murphy wrote.
Small Acts of Kindness Matter
This story packs such a punch because you can’t help but smile when you see how happy and touched this family was by these donations. But it wasn’t one or two people coming together to ensure the family got a better life; it was dozens and dozens of people coming together to help.
These small acts, or donations, resulted in one major life change. It just goes to show you that even when you think it’s not enough, every single kind act counts. You may only have a couple of dollars to give. Or one ear to listen to someone’s story. Or one smile to pass along to someone having a bad day. Or perhaps you have a bag of old clothes you no longer need or extra food in your fridge. The point is that every little bit counts when it comes to helping others.
There are still so many people in the world who could benefit from this kind of generosity. So whether you actively seek out these stories in hopes of inspiring change or just remember to pay attention the next time one comes across your desk, remember that we all have the power to make a difference, no matter how small it may seem in that moment.