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'Here's the money. Buy a house': A kind family receives kindness in return

Joy Diaz says her family's trajectory was changed after a gift.
Joy Diaz
Joy Diaz says her family's trajectory was changed after a gift.

This story is part of the My Unsung Hero series, from the Hidden Brain team. It features stories of people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else.

When Joy Diaz was growing up, her parents devoted themselves to humanitarian work. The family lived in Mexico City, and although they were anything but wealthy, they still found ways to help people who were living in extreme poverty.

"When I talk about extreme poverty, what I mean is these people lived inside the municipal garbage dump," Diaz said.

Diaz's parents did everything they could to support the residents of the dump. They started by bringing in teachers and doctors. Eventually, they were able to build a health clinic, a school, a dining hall and even install public showers.

"But while that was happening, we did not have a home. We were renters," Diaz said.

One day, years into their endeavors, a man showed up at Diaz's house. His name was Jack Bloxham, and he had worked with the Diazfamily in the past to provide care for community members. He'd come all the way from Richmond, Virginia.

"He flew into Mexico City, hopped in a taxi, came to the house, saw my mom and just gave her this paper bag full of money, full of cash. And he said, 'For many years, I've been wanting to buy a house for you. So here's the money. Buy a house,'" Diaz remembered.

Diaz believes this act of kindness changed her life. Her family moved into a middle class neighborhood, and the money they saved on rent instead paid for college tuition. But the impact of Bloxham's generosity didn't end there.

"It changed the trajectory of generations," Diaz explained. "Because today my children live in a middle class neighborhood, [and] because I am college educated I am able to have a better job than I could have had before."

Bloxham is now in his nineties. Diaz says she will always remember his kindness.

"I am forever grateful, Jack. Thank you."

Copyright 2024 NPR

Ryan Katz
Autumn Barnes