Nearly two years after the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we’re starting to get a better idea of how many people lost their livelihoods, homes, and more.
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Tony Rojas is one of the unfortunate folks who lost his job as a chef – and found himself living in his van when things got really bad.
Tony and his wife have been homeless for 18 months, but he has never given up hope that things will turn around. One day, a chance encounter with Charlie Rocket became the catalyst for a fresh start!
Charlie is a former music manager who made a huge life shift a few years ago. Diagnosed with a brain tumor and weighing 300 pounds, Charlie devoted himself to getting fit… and helping others. When he realized his dream of hitting his goal weight, starring in a famous Nike ad, and being rid of his tumor, he set out to make dreams come true for others who are down on their luck. He and his crew moved into an RV called “The Dream Machine” and began a cross-country journey to find deserving people to bless with miracles.
“There’s so many people out there in a boat that’s sinking. I don’t want to give them some tape to fill the holes, I want to rebuild their entire raft,” Charlie said in a video.
Charlie was in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when he met Tony. With tears in his eyes, Tony told Charlie what he was going through.
“I just want to cook food for people,” he said. “I just don’t want to give up.”
Little did Tony know that he was talking to the perfect person to turn his life around! Charlie took Tony to the grocery store to buy ingredients, then rented a food truck so he could prepare his famous “taco nachos.” They were so tasty that Charlie immediately put the word out to his social media following. Within 24 hours, Charlie’s video had racked up over 35 million views!
“We just fell in love with him and he started crying, but we looked into his eyes and this man, there’s something special here about this man,” Charlie said.
He started collecting donations in hopes of raising $100,000 to buy Tony a food truck and secure him a place to stay for one year. They held a huge outdoor party to raise money, and hundreds of people came by to sample Tony’s food and make a donation.
They also took Tony for a haircut and some new clothes. “I feel great. I feel myself. For the first time in a long time,” Tony said gratefully.
The best surprise was yet to come. Thanks to generous contributions, Charlie was able to give Tony his very own food truck!
“It’s surreal. It’s like a baseball player going from triple A to the majors,” Tony said. “You’re in the big show now and it’s time to perform and watch all these smiles who are waiting.”
The Dream Machine Foundation is currently asking for donations to change more people’s situations! Tony’s life is already turning around, and it’s all thanks to one man’s determination to make dreams come true.
Share Tony’s story with others, and remember to never give up hope, even when the going gets rough!
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