Little girls who were forced to get creative and use Taco Bell’s Wi-Fi for school have been gifted thousands of dollars in donations after a viral photo turned into a GoFundMe campaign thanks to a community.
Jackie Lopez, the woman running the GoFundMe page on behalf of the family in the viral photo, raised $142k-plus thus far which will go toward the children’s education.
Lopez reveals how the girls’ mom, Juana, plans on starting a college fund for her three kids — two of whom were seen sitting outside of a Taco Bell with their laptops and notepads.
While the third child is just a year old, Juana is thinking long term.
In addition, Juana hopes to use some of the money for therapy for her kids. She says the family has been in and out of homelessness and wants her daughters to talk to a professional.
The photo of the two young girls sitting outside of a Taco Bell in Salinas, CA, went viral.
And while the Salinas City Elementary School District attempted to remedy the situation by providing them a hot spot with internet access — it was the community that stepped up to the plate for the family. A friend and fellow supporter of Lopez, Flora, posted to Instagram to give an update on the family as well as praise Lopez for her hard work.
“Safe ♥️ I’m so thankful for individuals like @awkwardspice ???? she reached out to me and told me she was in contact with the mother last night. We got in touch and this morning we cleared our schedule to do what we could to help this family immediately. I am so thankful this mother allowed us to assist her and her daughters.”
“She kept refusing our help but we kept insisting. She finally agreed to accept the help and we moved quickly. We helped the family pack and took their belongings to the storage. The girls and their mom are now SAFE tonight ♥️ thank you @awkwardspice for reaching out it meant so much being able to help this family together today. You are such a beautiful soul.”
“She has just started a Gofundme for these girls and it would mean a lot if you all donated the link is in my bio as well, these funds will be given directly to this family to help them pay a month or two or more of rent depending on your donations. We will be assisting this family this week until we get them on their feet. These girls are so excited to learn and they love their education.”
“The first thing the oldest daughter mentioned is how she’s so excited to have her own library ???????????????? the mother was so shocked by the support and was in disbelief, and we simply told her, please accept our help, your daughters are the future, one of these girls could be the next to change the world please let us help. So thankful she trusted us. Just so thankful we could help and super proud of @awkwardspice who took the initiative to find this family, couldn’t have done this without you, you are so incredible.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.