In the span of a month, San Antonio resident Todd Arredondo has become Summer Santa. After online trolls used Facebook to mock a group of children playing in an ingenious makeshift pool in a red truck, Arredondo stepped in and bought them an inflatable pool. While the post – which was deleted – attempted to ridicule the family who couldn’t afford a pool and the West Side, Arredondo wanted to make a difference. What started as a random act of kindness has turned into a new project, Pools for Kids. He started a GoFundMe page and initially aimed to raise $250 so that he could buy pools for a few other kids, but after 23 days, he has raised more than $18,000. And he’s now hoping to make Pools for Kids a yearly project.
For Todd, it was easy to show compassion to families who are struggling to keep cool during summer. And he knows what it feels like to be in their shoes. “I will never forget as a kid I was trying to buy water balloons and didn’t have enough,” he wrote on Facebook. “It was a gentleman behind me that told me to open my hand and filled it with a bunch of change and dollars. I never forgot that act of kindness. Why? Cause kids remember these acts. We remember who reaches out to us. Most [importantly,] it teaches us character and how to treat people. The smallest acts of kindness have the biggest impact.”
Currently, he’s posting pictures of himself with the children he’s helped out on his Pools for Kids by Todd Arredondo Facebook page – letting everyone know how happy their contributions have made children around San Antonio. Here are some of the sweet moments Pools for Kids and online funders made possible: