We all make sacrifices for our family. Some are more meaningful than others. Alondra Carmona had it all figured out, at least she thought she did.
She had saved over $2,000 working extra hours at a fast-food restaurant. She was planning on putting the money towards her expenses at Barnard College in New York City, where she had been accepted with a partial scholarship after applying to 11 universities.
But then, well, life.
Earlier this month, Alondra learned that her single mother had been laid off from her job at the Port of Houston because of COVID-19 down-sizing.
“I haven’t actually had a job for three months,” she told Carmona.
They were now two months behind on the rent and facing eviction.
Eighteen year old Alondra Carmona immediately knew what she had to do—give her mom the money.
“Everything was falling apart,” Carmona, a senior at YES Prep East End, told The Washington Post. “My mom needed help. So, what am I supposed to do? That’s the least I could do. … It doesn’t compare to everything that she has done for us.”
Her unselfish generosity did not go unnoticed. After the family’s plight was featured on local TV and “Good Morning America” earlier this week, donations to a GoFundMe page created by Carmona will allow her to pursue her college dreams while also allowing the family to stay put at home.
By early Thursday, the fund had generated close to $150,000.
“I never would have thought in a million years that this would blow up and so many people would be donating,” she said. “I want to tell all the first-generation, low-income students like me that it is possible.”
Her story raises a bigger-picture perspective: Although a federal moratorium is in place, designed to prevent evictions through March, seniors, immigrants and other vulnerable groups may be unaware of those protections, and are more vulnerable to lose their homes.
The Eviction Lab at Princeton University notes that nearly 246,000 evictions have been filed by landlords during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes tens of thousands of illegal evictions that fall under the protection of the moratorium.