(WSVN) - A mother feared another person was going to be buried on top of her son. Another woman said she was promised a reward for catching illegal dumpers. Both called Help Me Howard, and not only did they respond, so did several South Floridians. Let’s watch Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to see.
When you ride around and see trash in your neighborhood, you probably shake your head and keep going. Lazara stops.
Lazara Martinez, cleans up neighborhood: “Any illegal dumping that I find, I take a video of it and I send it to the police. Then the arrests are made.”
After a few arrests, Lazara said a city official got in contact with her.
Lazara Martinez: “[They said] the next one that you catch is a $1,000 reward, so imagine I’m psyched up. I’m happy.”
Lazara caught two more dumpers who were arrested. When she asked for her $1,000 reward, she was told, ‘We don’t give out rewards for catching dumpers in Miami.'”
Lazara Martinez: “I feel back stabbed. I feel hurt.”
Lazara’s Help Me Howard story aired, and many of you made sure she got her $1,000 reward, plus some more.
Lazara Martinez: “Absolutely. I’ve gotten more than $1,000. Can I say? $2,500.”
In our story, we mentioned Lazara’s bike had just been stolen. Vitor Costa was watching.
Vitor Costa, donated his bike: “I saw the story on Channel 7 last night, and I was moved by it, so I decided I can donate my bike to her.”
Frank Vega was one of many other people who had offered Lazara a bike. So instead, he tuned up the used bike she got.
Francis Vega: “I saw the story on Help Me Howard, actually. What she does is a great thing. She is helping her neighborhood.”
Now, a very happy Lazara.
Lazara Martinez: “The best word I can say is thank you. The community has shown me that they actually care.”
Loulie will never be completely happy again.
Loulie Gregoire, son was killed: “He just kept saying, ‘Arin is hurt. Arin is hurt.'”
Five years ago, her son Arin was hit and killed by a car while crossing the street.
Loulie Gregoire: “All I remember them saying was, ‘We’re trying to stabilize him,’ and I passed out .”
Loulie thought she bought four cemetery plots at the time. Two on top of two others in a “buy two, get two free” deal.
Loulie Gregoire: “I didn’t grasp everything. That was my mistake, and I admit that.”
Turns out, she owed $1,800 to finish the deal. Since she was not told she needed to make the payment, the cemetery took them back and was selling the other three plots for $12,000. Meaning, someone could be buried on top of Arin.
Loulie Gregoire: “I got livid.”
We got the cemetery to reinstate the original contract and charge the $1,800 Loulie originally owed. Our story aired.
Loulie Gregoire: “It was heartwarming, overwhelming.”
One viewer gave Loulie the $1,800 still owed on the cemetery plots.
Loulie Gregoire: “So my new friend, Tammi, she helped me pay off the plot.”
Tammi Ruiz’s generous gesture means Loulie now owns the three plots around Arin. And there was more generosity to come.
Loulie Gregoire: “But they don’t want any credit, and they donated the stone. I was blown away.”
The anonymous donor bought a headstone for Arin.
Loulie Gregoire: “I cried. The tears kept pouring. I was hugging it like it was my son.”
Two incredible people gave a sad mother reasons to smile, until she thought about what they had done and cried tears of joy.
Loulie Gregoire: “And most of all, I want to thank you guys, Channel 7, because without you this would not be happening.”
Our job is to help people. That’s what Channel 7 lets us do. We are so lucky and so grateful to the people like you who often step in to help as well. Happy holidays, everyone.
Lost the spirit to battle a problem? Need a holiday break from it? Cheer us on, and hopefully instead of “oh, oh, oh,” you will be saying “ho, ho, ho.”
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