Family living in tent plans to give back after donations

Their entire world has been turned upside down.

The Almaraz family lost their mobile home to foreclosure last week.

Everything they own sits on their Donna area property off Liam Street.

The family of 5 sleeps in a tent, including 3 children with the youngest age 5.

"Everyone has been sending messages saying they want to help you," Ricardo Filizola, spokesperson with GEF Financial told Jose Almaraz.

Ricardo met with him to share how the community nominated his family for the Pay it 4Ward prize.

"Here's $700," Ricardo said while handing Jose the cash.

That's $300 more than a typical award on the weekly program.

Ricardo tells Jose how his family has inspired the Rio Grande Valley with their love, determination and positivity despite unimaginable hardships.

"Only God knows why he does these things," Jose said with a tear in his eye. "I had a house and I lost it... I hope to get it again."

Jose used to work odd jobs to make a living as the family's sole provider.

When he got sick and had to be hospitalized, the bills simply piled up.

An exclusive report last Friday on Action 4 News that highlighted the family's challenges has led to an outpouring of support.

Donations have been made to the family by people throughout the Valley everyday since the report aired.

Maria Almaraz is Jose's wife.

"I want to thank God for allowing me to be here and receive this money and to all the people that wrote in and helped," she said.

The family says they've been blessed with building supplies, a small fix-me-up trailer, clothing, food and prepaid hotel nights to stay out of the cold.

Cash donations have exceeded $700 in the first 72 hours alone.

GEF Financial wanted to match that amount for their prize on Pay it 4Ward with Action 4 News.

"I'm going to use the money to buy wood and hopefully start buying a house," Jose said about the money he's received.

He says he'll never forget the kindness that's been extended to his family.

Jose even plans to Pay it 4Ward on his own to someone else in need.

"If I get a donation of a trailer home or a house, and when I get back on his feet, I would donate that house back to somebody who would need it also," he explained to Action 4's Ryan Wolf.

"You really feel that way?" Ryan asked.

"Yes," Jose responded.

It's hope for the future when people lend a helping hand.

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