For many young Latinas, turning 15 is a rite of passage celebrated with a big bash. But these quinceañeras can be costly and put financial strain on families. As Kayla’s 15th birthday approaches, she didn’t want to inconvenience her mother, and people on the internet have responded in the most beautiful ways.
It all started on Wednesday when Natalia García, a family friend, posted a call on social media. “Hi guys! If you have a quinceañera dress, around size 14, that you are willing to donate, please let me know!” she wrote. “I have a friend whose cancer recently came back & her daughter doesn’t want to put the financial burden of a quinceañera on her family, so I want to try & find one for her.”
The touching message began circulating online, and soon the number of likes and tweets multiplied. “I honestly didn’t think it would get this much attention,” García tells Remezcla via message. “I though it would reach a few friends who would be able to help, but five retweets turned into 15, which turned into 50, which turned to 500, and here we are at almost 10k retweets, which is just amazing to me.”
Since our brief conversation Friday, an additional 19,000 people have retweeted her call. Just scrolling through the replies, it’s easy to see how generous people have been with their own dresses, jewelry, and money. And it seems the response isn’t something Kayla expected either. “I told her this morning at a breakfast and her jaw was practically on the floor,” García adds. “The look in her eyes was priceless. It’s the most pure and genuine thing I’ve seen in a while.”
At first, Kayla hoped to find a burgundy or ivory pink dress, but now, the teen will be able to wear a few different options because people wanted her to be able to change throughout the night.
Since the initial post, Natalia has also started a GoFundMe page after people asked if they could donate to the family. So far, people have raised more than $1,800 for Kayla and her mom. (You can donate here.)
And while Natalia might feel surprised at the kind of reaction her post received, she says it’s just human nature. “I think we often forget how many good people are on this planet,” she says. “For every bad person you may encounter, I guarantee there’s at least two more people who lead a life of love and positivity. It’s just beautiful seeing all kinds of people from all different places come together for one common cause.”