East Los Angeles Woman Donates Coffins to Families who can’t afford them
Here is a touching story by Steve Lopez from the Los Angeles Times about a woman named Juana Jauregui who runs a daycare center at her East Los Angeles home and her dedication to children. Most of the kids who go to Jauregui’s daycare speak Spanish at home, but she speaks and reads English to the kids so they’ll do better in school. Jauregui started a nonprofit after she lost someone she had tried hard to save. Jauregui’s son, Daniel Noriega, wrote a paper about his mother called “La Mama de East L.A.” that persuaded Lopez to write about Jauregui’s story. In his paper, Noriega wrote about his sister’s ex-boyfriend Mario, who was a deeply troubled young man due to years of parental abuse and neglect.
Jauregui found out about the abuse Mario and his siblings had suffered and she became more determined to try to help him kick drugs and straighten out his life, even after Mario and her daughter broke up. Jauregui has worked with youngsters for 29 years and her first instinct is to try to understand people rather than judge. Unfortunately, Mario was struck and killed by a Metrolink train and Jauregui was listed as her contact. Mario’s mother couldn’t afford the funeral arrangements, so Jauregui stepped in and purchased a coffin for Mario and donated one of four family plots she had purchased years ago so that Mario could be laid to rest. Jauregui learned that many families often struggle to pay for the most basic burials, so she started Mario’s coffins, a nonprofit, to raise money for such families and donate caskets to them. This is a great story that hopefully inspires more people to do more acts of kindness towards other people.