Man Asks 15-Year-Old Why He’s Selling His Drawings in Public for 2 Cents Each — The Answer Will Break Your Heart
This teenage boy spends his days after school in a metro station, trying to make a little money.
In Venezuela, a large majority of the population not only struggles to make ends meet but lives in dire poverty.
In this country, under economic collapse for years, it’s not unheard of for parents to feel forced to abandon their children at orphanages because they can’t afford to feed them.
But sometimes, it’s the child who can come to the aid of an adult. That was the case for 15-year-old Jeremy Perez.
Why a 15-Year-Old Boy Was Selling His Art in a Metro Station
After school every day, Jeremy would rush to the metro station and set himself up on the steps to sell his drawings. Sometimes, people bought his two-cent drawings without even giving it a second thought before jumping on a metro train. More often than not, they simply passed him by. Jeremy managed to sell an average of five to twelve paintings a day, earning him 24 cents at best.
But one day, someone stopped to ask him: Why do you do it?
The stranger passed Jeremy setting out his drawings in the same place on the metro stairs every day.
Curiosity got the better of him, along with a sneaking suspicion that the boy wasn’t just trying to earn some pocket money. After all, he was there day after day, rain or shine.
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At a time when most kids were out with their friends blowing off steam after a long day at school, or even just home doing homework, Jeremy was working hard to make a very small amount of money.
The man wasn’t sure why Jeremy was there, but he never could have guessed the boy’s response. Jeremy’s mother had fallen from a four-storey-high structure. The fall left her bedridden with nerve damage, and she needed expensive medications. She was no longer able to provide for her two boys.
So Jeremy did the only thing he knew how to do. Every afternoon after school, he gathered his drawings and meagre art supplies and headed to the metro station. The change he could earn would keep his small family alive one more day. Little did the stranger know, but Jeremy sat there every day until he had earned enough money to take home to his mother.
But it just wasn’t enough.
How One Stranger Changed a Teen’s Life
And then one day, that stranger stopped to ask him a seemingly innocent question: Why?
Jeremy’s story so touched the man that he decided to help.
He reached out to his friends on Facebook to gather some money and art supplies for the boy. But he also had connections at Magazine Exclusiva. Maybe they would buy Jeremy’s drawings and publish them in the magazine.
They agreed. Suddenly, Jeremy’s story, his personal struggle and hardship, was heard and seen by a larger community. The boy, who had been invisible to so many metro passengers, suddenly had a platform to share his story.
Jeremy’s story and his art spoke to the magazine’s readers. Thousands of people reached out to help. Jeremy’s aunt helped him set up a legal and transparent way to receive donations. His mother got the treatment she needed for her injury and the family was able to meet their basic needs.
And all because a kind stranger stopped to ask a boy in need his story.