How One Man Surprised Kids Who Were Mocked for Swimming in Makeshift Pool

 Todd Arredondo

Here’s your feel-good story of the day. 

A man named Todd Arredondo from San Antonio was scrolling through his Facebook feed when he stumbled upon a viral photo of children using a tarp in a truck bed as a makeshift pool. It wasn’t the image that grabbed him, but the comments about the family, who were pictured outside of a public housing apartment complex on the west side of the city.

“People were writing things like, ‘Way to teach your kids to be poor,’” Arredondo tells Us Weekly. “It was nothing but negativity and degrading comments. I didn’t see anyone say, ‘Hey, look at this mother. Look at this family trying to keep their kids cool, despite this situation.’”

The cruel remarks left Arredondo in tears. “I knew I had to do something,” the 31-year-old jewelry business owner tells Us. And he did. 

Arredondo tracked down the family, purchased an inflatable pool and delivered it to their home. “The kids were so happy and wanted to help fill it with air,” he says. “The parents wholeheartedly expressed their appreciation and thankfulness. They’re very, very humble people.”

But Arredondo didn’t stop there. The Good Samaritan has since launched Pools for Kids, to provide inflatable pools for children in need across San Antonio. In three weeks, he has raised more than $17,000 and delivered 69 pools to 69 families, earning the nickname “black-bearded Santa Claus.”

“This one family … they had six kids and they rushed to the door and they were just saying, ‘Thank you! Thank you!’” says Arredondo. “The next day, the mom invited me over. They had baked me a cake, and it had ‘Thank you for our pool’ written in icing.”

Then the children asked Arredondo if he could help them build a lemonade stand. “I said, ‘Sure! What do you want to do, buy toys?’ They said, ‘No. We want to help raise money to buy a pool for another family,’” he tells Us. “And that’s what this journey is all about.”

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