A local boy was facing a lonely Thanksgiving amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but after his mom sought help online to make his birthday a special one, his neighbors rallied together and gave him an incredible night to remember Wednesday.
Russell Chambers, 7, has been through a lot in his young life, battling retinal blastoma when he was just 2 years old. He lost his left eye in winning that fight, but it hasn’t slowed down his zest for life.
That’s why his mother Angelique Vasquez sought help online to help make his birthday, which falls on Thanksgiving this year, a memorable one.
“I reached out to the East Side (Facebook) page and said ‘hey, is there anybody willing to come do a drive-by parade?’” she recalled.
That Facebook post spread like wildfire, and so did Chambers’ story. All week long, the young boy has been receiving gifts from community members, and his mother has been posting videos to her Facebook page so that her son can share his gratitude for the presents.
“I only thought that I would only get the three that my mom and dad gave me, but it turns out I got a lot more than three,” he said.
Allen Garcia, who dropped off a present at the house on Wednesday, said that he did it to make Chambers’ “dreams come true,” but that’s not why the boy’s mother decided to ask for help.
“I just wanted a small little parade so he could feel special,” she said. “He really feels special right now.”
As car after car drives by the house and as strangers continue to open their hearts to little Russell and his family, his mother says that the experience has given her renewed hope in humanity this holiday season.
“I would like people to see that they shouldn’t give up on humanity, because it’s still there,” she said. “There’s good people in the world, and tonight shows it.”