MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- With everything going on in the world, Arizona’s Family had to take a small break from Surprise Squad. But we did want to bring you this story of neighbors truly helping neighbors and strangers helping strangers.
Cynthia lives in a Mesa apartment complex. For three years, her grandchildren have played with her neighbor Miriam’s children in the courtyard almost every day. But a few months ago when Miriam’s youngest daughter Yaretzi came outside to play, she walked with a limp. “The mother took her to the doctor for her leg and ended up doing an MRI and found out she had cancer, a tumor,” Cynthia told the Surprise Squad. “I found out she was sick and I knew I had to do something for the family. I just couldn’t sit back as a neighbor and not do nothing for her. All I wanted to do was get an Elsa out here.”
Elsa, the beloved character from the movie "Frozen" is one of Yaretzi’s favorites. But during the pandemic it was hard for Cynthia to find an Elsa impersonator willing to make a house call. So she went to Facebook and made a post asking for help. Samira, a complete stranger at the time, happened to see it.
“When I read that, I just knew that I couldn’t pass it by and I was going to do whatever it took to help find an Elsa to visit her.” Samira said. “We actually found an Elsa and she volunteered on her own and decided that she wanted to make this special. I had a lot of people reach out and want to donate some Elsa dolls and Elsa clothes and just anything that had to do with Elsa just to gift her.”
Cynthia said she was very surprised at the response.
On top of a visit from the famous Disney princess, friends and strangers alike came out to brighten up the apartment complex with Easter decorations and inspirational messages. “This is an example of how people should work together,” Samira smiled. “When you see a Facebook post of someone reaching out for help and you just scroll past, there’s an opportunity you’re missing for a family who might be so broken or devastated or not know how to speak for themselves. A lot of us don’t have money right now or we’re not working. But if you can really step into the community, it’s unbelievable how many people actually do want to help.”
Cynthia said many times she’s cried with Yaretzi’s mom on the apartment complex’ steps. “I try to comfort her, to let her know she’s not alone. She knows now she’s not alone and we stand by her.”
“People really like to do good and that’s what I learned, especially living here in Phoenix,” Samira added.