Mariflor Ventura is an immigrant from El Salvador and a local hero living in Arlington, Virginia. Mariflor, a mother who spends her time raising her twins when not working on an Arlington County School bus, usually kept to herself before the pandemic. Until one day, during the lockdown, her nearby neighbors, who became jobless and hungry, reached out for help.
After helping one neighbor with milk, food, and diapers for their children, she noticed a need throughout her community. Mariflor expressed how she feels connected to single moms because she was once in their shoes a couple of years ago. Now she is determined to help mothers because she couldn't help before. Many families in her neighborhood couldn't go to food banks to get the help they needed, so Mariflor has been a saving grace for those in her community by providing for others right outside of her home.
Mariflor's living room is stacked to the ceiling with toiletries, food, and everyday items for her to give away to the community, and every Friday, a line forms outside of her house around noon, and volunteers from her church help pass out boxes filled with food. She helps families with donations she receives from the support of neighbors, her church, and strangers. Her goal is to turn this into a non-profit since her journey of helping others has turned into something greater than she expected.
Amazed by how Mariflor is helping her community right from her home, Joel Bassam, from Easterns Automotive Group, sent Mariflor an inspirational video message and surprised her with $2,000 to continue to support her community. Brought to tears, the first thing Mariflor thought about was others. "I don't deserve this," she cried. "There are other people that deserve this more."
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