Milagros Galindez and Angel Baez have felt hopeless since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico last year. Losing almost everything in the storm and welcoming a newborn in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, the pair packed their family’s bags and left their island for refuge in Kansas, where local hospitality is beginning to restore their spirit.
On Saturday, their eldest son’s new elementary school teacher popped up at Galindez’s cousin’s home, where the couple is staying, with a gift: a car.
“[My husband] and I just so happened to be buying a new car this week. We made the decision to gift them our Ford instead of trading it in,” Roxanne Murillo, a kindergarten teacher at Cloud Elementary in Wichita, wrote in a post on Facebook. “They are ecstatic and believe they are gaining tools to help accomplish their dreams for their family.”
In a video Murillo’s partner, Nicolas, recorded of the moment, the family is seen in disbelief.
Posted by Roxanne Murillo on Saturday, February 3, 2018
“No,” Galindez exclaims, placing her hands over her eyes as she begins to cry. “Embuste,” Baez says incredulously after her.
In addition to the new wheels, Murillo started a GoFundMe page, where she is raising money to purchase new car parts as well as tags, insurance and taxes on the vehicle, with any leftover contributions going directly to the couple.
“I can’t express how sweet this family is regardless of all they have gone through and lost. They are kind, joyful, and generous even though they have so little. The little boy loves being at school and is such a sweet friend! The beautiful baby boy was miraculously born 3 days after the storm, she was in labor when the storm hit. If you are searching for an opportunity to see and add more LOVE to our world, here is your perfect chance. The smallest of donations will be so impactful for this family. Any amount goes,” she said.
Murillo added that other staff members from her school and the Wichita Public School district at large is coming together to gather donations of furniture, household items and baby products for the family.