Denver 16-year-old pays family’s rent after mother, sister lose jobs

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DENVER (KDVR) — It’s been said that difficult times show true colors, and one local mother says she’s seen the best from her children at a time she didn’t expect.

Her teenage son recently took a job and offered to cover the family’s rent since his mom’s small business stopped providing.

“It’s kind of really just been us three for as along as we can really remember,” Christa DeHerrera said of herself, her son and her daughter.

The trio calls themselves the “perfect triangle.” 

DeHerrera has been been running her small business “Heaven Sent Organizers” for five years.

“So my business model is to help clear the mind, and clear the space for your life to occur,” DeHerrera said.

After the pandemic hit, she lost every single client in a matter of weeks.

“They actually needed to cancel, they needed to pay their bills…so I had to refund their deposit. And there’s nowhere in my contract that says, ‘In case of pandemic…,'” DeHerrera said.

Her daughter, 17-year-old Zeyta, was laid off from her job a week later. Her brother, 16-year-old Vann, recently got a job at Chick-Fil-A. 

One day, while DeHerrera was on the phone, Vann approached her with a sticky note that read, “How much is rent?”

She later asked why he’d inquired.

“And he reached out, and touched my arm, and he said, ‘Because I’m going to take care of it,'” DeHerrera said.

The goodwill didn’t stop there. In the absence of food in their fridge, she went back to a familiar building on East 29th Avenue and North High Street: the Salvation Army Red Shield.

“They gave me a box (of) water and rice, vegetables and canned goods,” DeHerrera said.

In fact, Salvation Army has always been there for Vann and Zeyta.

“We’d be there until 7 o’clock when my mom got off work,” Zeyta recalled.

Their life choices would tell you Vann and Zeyta took a page from that book of generosity.

“Everybody out there, just look to your right and look to your left…and help each other,” DeHerrera said.

One of the things the DeHerreras want to remind others of is that the Salvation Army is always there, not just during a pandemic.

Christa says her favorite thing is that the organization doesn’t view people as a charity, and there’s no judgement. Instead, it looks for the humanity in all people seeking a little help.

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