Have you ever had a conversation with someone on the street that upsets you and makes you wonder how you could change that’s person’s life?
Well, I’m not sure if Kenia Barragan got that far into it when she met Jose Villa Ochoa’s.
But she did end up changing and possibly saving his life.
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Let’s challenge each-other to get out of our comfort zones, and get to know one another. Post a video, picture of yourself, a picture of your favorite quote, anything that makes you, anything that moves you, it doesn’t matter what it is. Include a bio of who you are and hashtag #gettoknowmechallenge As human beings, we tend to get so caught up in our lives, that we forget to acknowledge one another. We tend to judge and make assumptions about people, based on their appearances, instead of taking the time to get to know them. By being able to understand their story, we can evolve and become better people ourselves. I’ll start first… I was born in Mexico. I came to the US when I was about 2 years old. My parents migrated here with myself, my 3 brothers, and my 2 sisters. We didn’t know English. We didn’t have money. We all slept in a room together (all 8 of us). As time progressed we learned English, went to school, and my parents and older siblings worked there butts off to give us a better life, with endless opportunities. Fast forward, more than a decade later. My parents buy a house, I continued my education, graduated from high school, went to college and always kept my dreams alive that someday I’d make it. I am a DREAMER aka DACA recipient. I’m fortunate that this program passed in 2012, because it allowed me to work, drive, and get through my everyday life, without having to worry that at any given moment I can be taken away. My family is my biggest support. We take care of each-other. I lived some of my best memories in that small bedroom where we all lived, because even though we lacked money, we never lacked love. This is where my big heart comes from. I feel for people. I want to help and make a difference in the world. Money, would help, but that’s not what matters. I’m complete in my heart, and that’s all I need. Let’s help spread the love…. Share your stories and challenge people to share there’s. Tag me, DM me, whatever your little souls desire haha I want to acknowledge each and every one of your stories ❤️ Doesn’t matter how long it is, how short it is. Don’t forget to hastag #gettoknowmechallenge
Ochoa, who is known as Don Joel, is a wheelchair-bound 94-year-old tamale vendor in Santa Ana, California.
Barragan met Ochoa when he was selling his tamales.
She gave him all the cash she had and told him to give the tamales to someone else.
“I felt for him, my parents are older and I would hate to see my dad out selling tamales for somebody and barely making ends meet,” Barragan told FOX 10 Phoenix.
Barragan and Ochoa struck up a conversation and Barragan learned that Ochoa had tried to get a more traditional job but that no one would hire him because he was too old.
So, to provide for himself, he sells tamales for a woman who pays him at the end of each day. She also learned that Ochoa can barely afford the basic necessities.
“He can barely afford to buy his coffee and bread in the morning to eat and doesn’t have money to pay for a phone, let alone his medication. I found all this out, just by taking a few minutes out of my day to acknowledge a stranger,” Barragan wrote on Instagram.
Barragan decided to extend herself even further to Ochoa than she had.
She gave him her phone number and told him to call if he ever needed anything.
Barragan then gave him $50 someone donated to him and a Tora Ahogada that she bought him.
This brought Ochoa to tears knowing that he was appreciated and being shown some love.
“He said he’s gonna go to church tomorrow and pray for me,” Barragan recalled.
But then she decided to do something that really changed his life.
Barragan posted about her meeting with Ochoa on Instagram where her post received more than 177,900 likes.
According to FOX 10 Phoenix, people started asking how they too could help Ochoa.
This allowed Barragan to raise more than $80,000 for the man. Barragan said she was overjoyed by all the love and support people showed for Ochoa.
She also got him a new pair of shiny black shoes and a wheelchair that wasn’t ripped or covered in mold.
In addition, she’s been taking him to doctor’s appointments.
Ochoa says Barragan’s gesture of kindness has been life-changing and that he feels like he’s 40 again. Barragan said the situation has also left her changed.
“Definitely! I’ve always wanted a purpose in my life and I wanted to help people. This was the starting point for me,” Barragan said.
Barragan currently works for a company that helps people with disabilities to get the transportation that they need, but she plans to one day open a homeless shelter.
Barragan says that she hopes her story will encourage others to reach out and help those in need.
“I hope people take care of our community we need to take care of each other. Even if you can’t donate money, donate a prayer,” she said.
Learn more about this incredible story in the video below.
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