Last month, a photo showing a homeless boy doing his homework on the sidewalk by the light of a McDonalds restaurant was taken by college student Joyce Torrefranca. The photo quickly went viral after the 20-year-old posted the image on her Facebook page. This week, the life of that homeless boy — Daniel Cabrera — has been changed forever, thanks to Torrefranca, and the kindness of strangers who were so moved by the boy’s story they began sending him things to help him achieve his dreams — including a scholarship that will see the homeless boy through college.
Nine-year-old Daniel Cabrera — from Cebu, Philippines — and his two siblings have been living in the grocery store where his widowed mother works since they became homeless when their home was ruined by a fire five years ago. Due to the lack of electricity, Daniel had taken it upon himself to do his homework on a sidewalk by the light of a McDonalds restaurant.
“He always tells me: ‘Mama, I don’t want to stay poor. I want to reach my dreams,’” his mother, Christina Espinosa said, “He is a very studious and determined boy… He would insist on going to school even without his lunch money because I have no money to give.”
Daniel Cabrera’s dream is to become a policeman, and that dream has now become a possibility thanks to the donations that began pouring in after Torrefranca’s photo of him went viral. Donations to Daniel and his family include money, school supplies, school uniforms, a reading lamp, and an education scholarship — for an undisclosed sum — that will guarantee Daniel’s education through college, donated by local politician Samuel Pagdilao of the Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement & Support. In addition to all of this, the local police force has raised funds to provide groceries for the family.
“We’re overjoyed. I don’t know what I will do with all of these blessings,” Ms. Espinosa said, “Now, Daniel will not have to suffer just to finish his studies.”
A local church and government social welfare office have also received donations for the young boy and his family, said Violeta Cavada, the city’s social welfare office chief.
“Our problem is how to manage all this financial assistance. He has become a symbol of poor slum boys in the city who can’t study because they don’t have electricity.”
Daniel Cabrera’s father died in 2013 from severe diarrhea, and his mother works two jobs — working at the grocery store where the family lives, as well as for the store’s owners as a domestic helper — and earns just $1.77 USD per day. The scholarship this young homeless boy has received, along with all other generous donations, will certainly ensure that Daniel’s dreams will be achieved, and perhaps, for one child, the cycle of poverty can end, thanks to the kindness of strangers and the internet.
[Image Credits: Facebook/AFP]