Single mom of 5 gives thanks to neighbor before eviction
SAN ANTONIO —
Jennifer Cuellar was given an eviction notice.
It was devastating news for the single mother of 5 children.
But before she left her West Side apartment complex, Cuellar turned to Fox San Antonio to honor a friend who lives on the floor below.
“I just appreciate everything that she's done for me," she told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf. “She's taken care of my kids for me. Taking them to doctors. She took them to school when I was at work. Watched my baby when I had no babysitter."
Cuellar met Ruby Vasquez a little over a year ago after their children became friends.
She has 5 children as well.
Vasquez turned from neighbor to friend after Cuellar lost her job.
She said Vasquez went without to make sure she had what she needed for her children who range in ages from 1 to 16 years old.
"I was only able to get very little for my kids, and I felt like a failure,” Cuellar explained. “Last year on Christmas, she bought all my kids gifts."
It was around that time that Vasquez suffered a tremendous loss.
One of her twin daughters named Mia did not survive for very long after birth.
Her twin sister Makeyla was hospitalized for several months due to a number of a medical problems.
Cuellar wanted to give back to her friend and neighbor before she got evicted from the apartment.
She turned to CASH FOR KINDNESS for help.
“I feel bad,” she told Wolf. “Because I know she wants the best for her kids and to have a good Christmas. But with all of your help it's going to be a blessing."
With Fox San Antonio cameras recording, Cuellar walked down her apartment steps to her friend’s front door and knocked.
Vasquez had no idea about the surprise when she answered the door.
“I called Ryan because San Antonio needs to know that there's people like you with a good heart,” she told Vasquez while she held her hands. “Everything that you've done for me, it means so much to me. My Christmas last year. My kids, It means a lot. You feeding my kids. Cooking. Sending me plates. Helping me with my light. Taking care of my kids. All of that means a lot. And I love you."
Vasquez shared why she never hesitated to help her friend in need.
"You all are like family to me,” she told her. “And I will do anything and everything that I can. God blessed me with a good heart, and I'm going to put it to good use. And I'll do anything for you. I love you.
The two mothers gave each other a hug.
There were plenty of tears streaming down their faces.
Wolf stepped in next and told Vasquez about her nomination on CASH FOR KINDNESS.
“We reward selfless acts of kindness," he told her. “And in my hand, we have something that will hopefully make the Christmas season a little brighter for you."
Wolf handed her a stack of $100 bills.
“$100, $200, $300, $400, $500,” Vasquez said as she counted the money out loud. “Thank you so much! This means a lot. And this is going to get spread out. It's not just going to go to my family and kids. It's going to get spread out to a lot of people. So thank you very much.”
It was the kind of lasting impression Cuellar had hoped to leave with her friend.
But the CASH FOR KINDNESS surprises didn’t end there.
Wolf turned to Cuellar and shared how Fox San Antonio wanted to help her family as well.
“To come upstairs and see you packing because you have to leave your home on Christmas, that makes us sad at Fox San Antonio,” he told her. “So we have something for you too."
He handed Cuellar a similar stack of money.
“Thank you!” she said with tears in her eyes.
She was given $500 as well.
Cuellar called it an unexpected moment of joy.
Some of her kids even cried when they saw her face filled with emotion.
Both families said they planned to keep in touch.
They called it a Christmas to remember and thanked CASH FOR KINDNESS for the surprises.