When an Escondido high school student’s car was destroyed in a fire, his caring classmates rallied to find a way to replace his ride in a heartwarming act of kindness.
Arthur Torres is a senior at Calvin Christian School in Escondido. Like many students his age, he took up a summer job, helping with odd jobs at his high school including organizing the campus library.
By the end of the summer, Torres’ plan was to buy himself a set of wheels.
“I’d finally raised enough money – like $2,000 – to buy my own car,” he said.
The student achieved his goal, but the celebration was short-lived. Just one week after buying the car, Torres took it in for an oil change.
“Smoke started coming out of the vents and it stopped,” he explained. “I turned the car off stopped at the light and it just kind of burst into flames.”
Just like that, the student’s car was destroyed, his summer of hard work gone.
Torres’ mother, Miriam Torres, tried to comfort him, reminding the teenager to keep his faith.
“She said, ‘Don’t worry, Arthur, God knows what he’s doing. He’s in control of everything,” Torres said. “And, at that moment, I said, ‘Okay, I’ve heard that before.’ It just seemed hard to get a grasp on things.”
The senior shared his misfortune with his classmates and the news spread across the halls of his high school. Torres’ classmate, Leonardo Gonzalez, took it a step further, posting the story of what happened to Torres’ car on social media.
Gonzalez rallied his fellow students to come up with a solution to help Torres.
“I went on Instagram, I made a group chat and I said all my friends, ‘Let’s start a fundraiser for Arthur, guys.’ Everyone was super down for it; everyone was super excited,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez’s reason for lending a helping hand was pure and simple.
“He just worked so hard for something to just go away so easily,” he explained.
Gonzalez’s goal was to raise $1,500 for his classmate. But soon, students were able to come up with more than triple that amount – $4,617.
Two weeks after Torres’ car caught on fire his classmates surprised him with the check during school. The senior was speechless.
He said the kind gesture from his fellow students was more than he could’ve ever expected.
“I was kind of overwhelmed with just joy. You hear this on TV all the time – people coming together to just help someone out – and you don’t really expect it to happen in your own community, but it did,” Torres said. “And it was pretty amazing.”
Torres said the experience taught him a lesson about kindness that he will carry with him for the rest of his life, and also to keep his faith in God.
Torres and Gonzalez plan to keep paying it forward as they graduate and move into the next phase of their lives. Torres wants to study to become a nurse, while Gonzalez hopes to become a firefighter.