Last month, I shared the story of the Hernandez family and how they were in desperate need of a new handicapped-accessible vehicle for their 6-year-old daughter. In just a few short weeks, the family has gone from feeling hopeless to grateful after the SouthCoast community stepped up to the challenge in a big way.

Bella’s Story

Bella Hernandez was born handicapped, and her parents Dan and Melynda knew the day would come when Bella would no longer fit in a car seat and be carried out of their rundown van. Panic set in when they realized a more accessible vehicle would cost them over $40,000.

The Michael and Maddie Show shared their story, and not long after, a gentleman called into the studio.

The Man with the Van

His name was Sean and he wanted to help. He had a handicapped-accessible van that he used to transport his mother around, but since his mother passed over a month ago, he no longer has use for it. He was willing to sell the van to the Hernandez family at a discounted rate.

I put him in contact with Melynda, feeling hopeful for her and her family. But the good news didn’t stop there.

A Benefit Concert is Formed

“Within a week, another person reached out to me named Glen Nunes,” said Melynda. “He had held a benefit concert for his grandson and made a ton of money, and he wanted to do the same for my family.”

That benefit concert will take place at The Vault in downtown New Bedford Feb. 27 to raise funds for the van and the Hernandez family.

Cottage Street Motors Gets Involved

Shortly after that exciting phone call, Melynda received another call from Glen, telling her that Cottage Street Motors wanted to offer some assistance.

“Glen has a friend at Cottage Street Motors named Ray, and he wanted to buy the van from Sean outright, which gets me in the van faster,” said Melynda.
By Cottage Street Motors buying the van from Sean, it allows the Hernandez family to start a payment plan with Ray, making it even more affordable and less stressful.

And the giving didn't stop there.

A Benefit Dinner is Scheduled

A woman named Samantha Gomes reached out to Melynda after coming across Bella’s GoFundMe page and offered to host a benefit dinner catered by Riccardi’s at the VFW in East Freetown. The benefit dinner will take place March 25.

When a person is in need on the SouthCoast, you can always count on friendly neighbors to step up and help. This chain of kind-hearted events has restored my faith in humanity.

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