Sitting in his office, Hoke Minton wiped off tears thinking of the reaction of those he has helped.
“It's pretty awesome,” Minton said as he described that feeling.
This year he wanted to do something special during the holidays so he posted a message on his Facebook page:
"Does anyone know of a family that their kids are not guna have any presents for Christmas because of hard times. If so please let me know."
And one of his friends did. She had seen the post of a woman who lost her job as a waitress at Nicko’s Diner when the restaurant closed, and she connected the two.
“She couldn't hug my neck enough when I met up with her,” Minton said.
“I just kept hugging him,” Connie Oquendo, who worked at Nicko’s for twenty years, said.
She had written on the Seminole Heights Community Facebook page: "I'm reaching out to anyone that may know of a place hiring."
She’s applying for jobs, but in the meantime, Oquendo is struggling to pay her bills and support her five kids.
“The first thing I thought was ‘how am I going to have a good Christmas with my family?’” she said.
Minton, who owns A&A RV Mobile Service, couldn’t offer her a job, but he paid her next month’s rent and bought her children Christmas presents.
“I was like 'Oh my god. You're an angel,'” Oquendo said. “What we thought was going to be the worst Christmas was actually their best Christmas.”
And that's all Minton wanted. Oquendo’s wasn’t the only family he helped this year and he says he hopes there will be many more.
“As long as I'm working and can afford to help, maybe that's what I'm here for,” he said, wiping more tears.
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