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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s that time of year when people who’ve fallen on hard times feel their hardship more than usual as the holidays approach.
Fortunately here in South Florida people who live in the community tend to reach out to help out others through CBS4’s Neighbors for Neighbors and its “Adopt A Family” program.
One grateful young mom who’s family benefitted from the program has been paying it forward ever since.
Yaimara Pinero stands with her 11-year old daughter Jazmine Molina as Jazmine’s classmates celebrate her with holiday cheer during the ARC school’s annual Christmas show.
“The air base comes and will bring gifts with the Kiwanis for all the kids,” says Yaimara.
Jazmine has special needs, one of several students here at the ARC school in Florida City, where her mother also works as a secretary.
“Jasmine was born abnormally, you know, there was a problem at the time of birth. She got congenital strokes and that caused all the problems. She was becoming abnormal. She started here in ARC in the B2 program and she has been here ever since. Nine years aleady.”
In 2011, just after Yaimara divorced her husband, she ran into hard times.
So, as the holidays approached, the school’s director and Yaimara’s boss, nominated the young mom of two and her kids for the Neighbors for Neighbors “Adopt A Family” program.
“I was just trying to figure everything out with a 5-year old and a 5-month old baby,” Yaimara explained. “I didn’t know what Christmas was going to be like. So, here in my daughter’s school where I recently started working, they nominated me for the Neighbors for Neighbors Campaign. I didn’t know anything about it and it was the best Christmas my kids could ever have. “
“It is just an alleviation,” says Director Maria Barros. “The spirit that comes all together that somebody is helping them during Christmas time and that is what Christmas is all about, you know, reaching out to each other.”
Miami Children’s Hospital adopted the family back then. Forever grateful since, the then-25-year old mom decided to pay it forward helping others who need a lift come holiday season.
“After that I have been helping the community. Now, I run Neighbors for Neighbors through my job and we nominate the families. We visit them. We take pictures. We are able to enjoy that wonderful gift,” says Yaimara.
It’s a perfect fit for for the now 32-year old mom. She gets to work where Jazmine spends her days, watching her little girl grow. And she also gets to help others like others once helped her. What better example of the spirit of the holidays could there be?
“The best message that I can give to everybody out there, is not to lose hope,” she goes on, helping her daughter get comfortable in her special wheelchair. “There is always people willing to help and if I was helped in 2011, it changed my life. Then, a lot of people can get help too. And if you have the money or the community to do it, then you could do it. Yeah, and change somebody’s life.”
You can sponsor a family in need this holiday season by reaching out to Neighbors for Neighbors by clicking here.