Community members are helping a Tarrant County middle school student and his family get through a difficult time.
Richardo Perez's father suffered from kidney issues for years and died of COVID-19 last month. His family has been struggling financially.
Haltom Middle School eighth-grader wrote a heartfelt letter online and asked people to help; some of his teachers stepped up.
Kady Pearce, a teacher at Haltom Middle School, said, "They are just too young to be losing a parent, and it just broke my heart."
Vanessa Pannell, the crisis intervention counselor at the school, added, "Since he was in elementary school, his dad was very sick. Kidney issues, been on dialysis for almost a decade, had a transplant, and did well with it. Then COVID came and stole his second chance at life. It's a tragedy."
Pearce helped Perez share his story with the media. And after just a few phone calls, two significant donations came through.
The Haltom City Law Enforcement Association and AA Wrecker in Haltom City and some community members donated more than $8,000 to help the family.
Pearce said, "We can't replace what they lost, of course, but we can help in some way, and that's what we did."
The school's counselor said in a statement that it is nothing about paying the bills. Perez's mom would get her dignity and courage back with this money and help her to focus on her two sons during this challenging time.