ORLANDO (WHDH) — A 20-year-old woman tasked with the enormous responsibility of raising her five younger siblings was gifted a brand new car thanks to the generous Orlando community.
Samantha Rodriguez became the sole guardian of her siblings, who range in age from 7 to 15, when both her parents died from cancer just years apart.
The community learned about the Rodriguez family’s tremendous loss around Christmas when the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit gave them a holiday to remember.
Months later, they started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for a new family car.
Several anonymous donors helped raise more than $20,000, allowing the sheriff’s office to surprise Rodriguez with a new vehicle.
“I can’t express how grateful I am to every single person who has donated, or just sent their best wishes to my brother and sisters and me,” she said. “When we met the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit at Christmas, I never imagined that relationship would lead to these amazing blessings. I’m at a loss for words but the kids and I will be forever grateful to all of you.”
Rodriguez currently works as a server at a restaurant and says she would love to someday put a down payment on a house for her and her siblings, take some college classes, and even save for the kids’ education.
The public can continue donating to the GoFundMe page to help the family with their financial situation.
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