A high school senior who gave up football following the death of his parents is getting some financial help from his Minnesota community as he struggles to care for his family and maintain their household. Sam Heras, 17, was on track to graduate this spring, but lightened his coursework and left the football team to pick up more work shifts at a local Chili’s when the family’s house entered foreclosure, KMSP reported.
After Heras’ father died of stage 4 cancer about a year and a half ago, his 42-year-old mother became seriously ill. Heras gave up football practices and games to pick up more work busing tables and washing dishes at his job, KMSP reported. Following the death of Heras’ mother in October, one of the teen’s coworkers started a GoFundMe campaign, which raised more than $40,000 in seven days.
“He has taken everything in stride,” older brother Steven Heras told KMSP. “Nothing knocked him back. Some people, things happen and they think, ‘Oh poor me.’ They go in a downward spiral. But Sammy keeps moving forward.”
Heras’ football coach said his former athlete manages to come to school each day smiling despite the hardship he faces at home. Since learning of the GoFundMe page, Heras has set a goal to continue his education after high school to pursue either cooking or nursing.
“I’m very happy and shocked the whole community came around and helped me,” Heras told KMSP.