Donations to family of girl who choked on balloon increase from Pay it 4Ward
When 7-year-old Ruby Ramirez lost her life in a choking accident last month while at a San Benito school, Noe Zavala sprang into action for a grieving mother he never met.
"The only thing we're trying to do is just make her forget about whatever it is financially that she's going to stress about," Noe said in prior interview with Action 4 News. "She's already got enough on her shoulders."
The fundraising efforts organized by Noe in San Benito netted more than $2,000.
The youth football coach and Special Ed teacher at San Benito High used the time while collecting money as a teaching moment for his own kids.
Lucio Garcia called his friend's actions nothing less than inspiring.
He contacted Action 4 News to surprise Noe with the Pay it 4Ward prize.
"I called up Action 4 News| I called up Ryan Wolf on behalf of the community of San Benito... for what you do for the community," Lucio explained to Noe. "I see what you did for the Ramirez family. I see what you do for diabetics just like myself. You put in all this time and effort. You bring in your friends, your family, everybody out here and you put in your time and that's why I look up to you. But today it's about you buddy. So on behalf of Channel 4 News, FNB Insurance, I want to Pay it 4Ward. Here's $400."
"I don't know what to say," Noe said with a surprised face. "You all punked me."
Noe credits his father for teaching him the importance of kindness towards others.
It's a lesson he shares to this day while working for free as a DJ to help with autism and diabetes awareness.
"You my friend are what this program is all about," Action 4's Ryan Wolf said to Noe.
"That's always been God's way, to do things for everybody else," Noe said. "That's what makes you feel good inside. You're helping somebody in need... It's the best feeling ever."
FNB Insurance provides the $400 in cash for kindness.
Karen Gonzalez, agency spokesperson, calls it an honor to surprise such a humble recipient like Noe.
"He was definitely shocked!" Karen said. "It just kind of reminds you about what's important in life. You do what you have to do... What you feel is right in your heart and without expecting anything in return."
Noe doesn't think of himself as a hero but the people who know him best do.
Noe plans to use a portion of his Pay it 4Ward prize to once again assist the Ramirez family who lost their little girl.
He also wants to use the money for his side business as DJ Noe Z.
If you would like to inquire about his services for a special event, he can be contacted by calling (956) 577-5650.