South Side tire shop owner rewarded for helping missing toddler
A mother from the South Side turned to Fox San Antonio’s CASH FOR KINDNESS program to help give thanks to a tire shop owner after the unthinkable happened.
“I was so terrified, I couldn't breathe," Kimberly Almaraz said.
Almaraz, who’s 5 months pregnant, said she’s still living with anxiety and fear from last month's ordeal.
“A car could have hit her,” she told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf. “Somebody could have abducted her."
Her 4-year-old daughter Cassandra Olvera went briefly missing for a few hours after she slipped outside her dad's home.
“It could happen to anybody," Almaraz explained. “She was watching TV in her room, as he was doing things around the house, and she just simply walked out of the house."
The toddler, who’s barely taller than the hood of a car, trekked down side streets to Nogalitos near I-35. Almaraz believes she was trying to walk to her home, which is several miles away. That's when a nearby tire shop owner spotted the shoeless little girl.
“When I see that baby over here across the street, the first thing I keep in my mind is, I have my family too,” Ramon Castellano explained. “I just take care of the little baby and put here over here. Give her candy. And called the police."
Almaraz hoped his CASH FOR KINDNESS surprise will show him how much she appreciated what he did.
“The day I found out my daughter was missing, I was terrified,” she told the owner, dressed in a uniform with tire grease on it. “I walked everywhere looking for her and I could not find her. So I just want to say thank you."
Olvera appeared to be happy to see the man as well. She was seen smiling when the two reunited.
“Thank you baby,” Castellano said to her as he kissed the top of her head.
Wolf shared the news of his surprise nomination.
“I have a program on Fox San Antonio called Cash for Kindness,” he told the father of 3. “And we reward people who do the right thing in the community or do selfless acts of kindness. What you did sir, as you can see from their faces, was a very good thing."
His reward came in the form of cash!
“$500, $600, $700, $800, $900, $1,000,” Castellano said as he counted the money aloud with a smile on his face. “Nice! It's good!
He said he plans to use the money to help catch up on bills at the South Side shop.
Almaraz and her daughter said they make sure to wave to the owner every time they pass the business on the road.
Click here to nominate someone for the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS award.