Acts of Kindness
Struggling mom lives in car with 4 kids until strangers come to the rescue
Kenia and her children became homeless and had to move into their car. But the mom never expected total strangers to turn their lives around.
Jessica
05.02.22

Kenia Madrigal had no idea how much support she had out there in the world. All it took was for kind-hearted people to hear her story.

YouTube - ABC 13 Houston
Source:
YouTube - ABC 13 Houston

Struggling people are everywhere these days – you might be struggling to make ends meet yourself, even if you’re reading this from an expensive phone or computer. Things can turn on a dime.

For Madrigal, her life – and the lives of her four children – changed in just one day, this time for the better.

GoFundMe
Source:
GoFundMe

A Family’s Misfortune

Madrigal is a hard-working single mother who was laid off from her job at the beginning of the pandemic. Despite the safety nets in place for people like her, she was denied public assistance for some reason.

She couldn’t get unemployment or temporary assistance from the state of Indiana for herself or her four children. The system failed her.

We often assume someone will swoop in and help in these times. But it often doesn’t happen.

YouTube - ABC 13 Houston
Source:
YouTube - ABC 13 Houston

As the country grappled with unemployment, Madrigal applied for every job she could. But employment came too late, and she found herself evicted from her home before she could make ends meet. (That’s despite the moratorium on evictions.)

The children’s father had been growing increasingly distant and left at the height of her financial troubles.

That’s when she found herself with no other option than to move her family into their car—all five of them.

YouTube - ABC 13 Houston
Source:
YouTube - ABC 13 Houston

“I take the car seats out. I put the seats down, and these go all the way back. So, me and my oldest are here while the youngest are in the back,” she told ABC 13 News in Houston about how they arranged themselves to sleep in the car.

Children In Need

At the time, two of Kenia’s children were school-aged and needed access to their remote classes. But without equipment, internet, or even electricity, she struggled with making sure her kids got what they needed.

YouTube - ABC 13 Houston
Source:
YouTube - ABC 13 Houston

At the time, Michael (11), Benjamin (8), Sarah (3), and Sophia (1) were all seeing the worst of what the world had to offer people in need.

Luckily, one of Madrigal’s coworkers, Chelsea Monroe, stepped in and not only started a GoFundMe campaign but publicized it well enough so that people noticed.

YouTube - ABC 13 Houston
Source:
YouTube - ABC 13 Houston

The initial goal was just supposed to be enough to help the family get by for a little while – enough for food and rent so they could get back on their feet. Madrigal said they should set the cap at just $800.

Within hours, thousands of dollars poured in. It didn’t take long for the fundraising to reach five figures!

As of April 2022, that GoFundMe campaign has raised an astonishing $74,370!

A New Life and Hope For The Future

Madrigal was beyond humbled by the response. And not only was there money coming her way, but when the local ABC News station contacted her, she also received offers of higher-paying work, meal assistance, and even offers of better housing.

YouTube - ABC 13 Houston
Source:
YouTube - ABC 13 Houston

My goal was to get enough to get into a place, and now I can actually give them a home,” Madrigal said of her efforts to get her family back on their feet.

She was willing to do it all through hard work and just needed a bit of a boost. But when people saw the reality of her struggle, the generosity poured out of them. Even once the total far surpassed the goal, people continued to help.

YouTube - ABC 13 Houston
Source:
YouTube - ABC 13 Houston

“Thank you. Thank you. I’m so grateful. I’m very blessed,” was all the grateful mother could say of the overwhelming response to her plight.

Be sure to scroll down below for an interview with Kenia Madrigal!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jessica
hi@sbly.com
Jessica is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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