Samantha Rodriguez is 20 years old and living in Orange County, Florida. Most women her age are focused on their career trajectory, spending time with friends, and planning fun getaways.
Samantha’s life, however, probably looks a whole lot different than she expected it would by the age of 20.
You see, this incredible young woman has been raising her five younger siblings ever since both of their parents died from cancer in recent years.
Samantha’s siblings are between the ages of 5 and 16. Raising this many children requires an immense amount of responsibility from any caregiver, let alone a 20-year-old coming into her own and dealing with the monumental loss of her parents.
She’s been doing everything alone, and needless to say it hasn’t been easy.
Last Christmas, the sheriff’s department heard about Samantha’s situation and decided to step in and give her and her siblings the best holiday ever. The children were under the impression they were taking a tour of the OCSO Aviation Unit. Once they arrived, they were surprised with a ton of gifts and taken on a helicopter ride over the city.
The police department shared photos from the event on Facebook, which captured the attention of the community at large. It wasn’t long before neighbors and volunteers were sending emails to the officers, wondering how they could to more to help Samantha and her siblings.
In the video, the town comes together to present Samantha with a much-needed and much-deserved gift.