When Joyce Torrefranca posted photographs of a young boy on Facebook, she had no idea what an impact that simple action would soon have on the child’s life.
On June 23, the student from Mandaue City, Philippines, shared two photos of a child studying at a makeshift table on a sidewalk. “I got inspired by a kid,” the woman wrote.
Over the following days, Torrefranca’s post went viral, inspiring Filipino news outlet ABS-CBN to track down the child.
The outlet says they managed to locate the boy, identified as 9-year-old Daniel Cabrera, at a store located close to the McDonald’s where the photos of him were taken. Daniel’s mom, Christina Espinosa, is reportedly an employee at the store.
According to AFP, Espinosa, who is a widow, and her three young children have been living at the store ever since their shanty house was destroyed by fire five years ago. Daniel’s mom says she earns just 80 pesos, or about $1.77, a day working at the store and as a domestic helper. She lost her husband in 2013.
Despite the myriad challenges the family has faced, Espinosa says Daniel, who is now in third grade, has always been a dedicated student.
“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,” she told AFP. “He always tells me: ‘Mama, I don’t want to stay poor. I want to reach my dreams.’”
The boy is now being given a much-needed helping hand.
In the last few days, Espinosa says the family has been deluged with donations, school supplies and other gifts.
According to ABS-CBN, a local politician named Samuel Pagdilao has given Daniel a scholarship, and local police have also done their part — giving the family money and buying them groceries.
“We’re overjoyed, I don’t know what I will do with all of these blessings,” Espinosa told AFP. “Now Daniel will not have to suffer just to finish his studies.”
In a recent interview with radio station DZMM, Daniel said that his dream is to become a policeman one day.
“I want … to help the Philippines,” he said.
On her part, Torrefranca has said that she’s amazed at how one “simple photo” could make such a “huge difference.”
“Thank you guys for sharing the photo,” she wrote on Facebook. “With that, we were able to help Daniel in reaching his dreams. I hope Daniel’s story will continue touching our hearts so that we will always be inspired and motivated in every situation we face in life.”
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