(NBC News) – When a New Mexico 13-year-old saw his mom struggling to make ends meet, he came up with a plan.
Jeremy Sandoval and his best friend Danier Valencia set up shop most afternoons with a wagon full of snacks for sale.
“We saved for about two months to get the stuff that we have today. Pringles, water, Coca-Cola, peanuts all for a dollar,” Jeremy said.
The money he’s trying to make isn’t for him.
“So me and my sister, we were sitting there one day in the living room, we were wondering how can we help my mom?” Jeremy said.
Jeremy’s business caught the attention of Marcos Rivera.
“I was driving home and I saw his sign, that says trying to help my mom with bills,” Rivera said. “And I think anybody that would see that sign would flip a U-turn and come back and buy some snacks.”
Rivera went back and bought out Jeremy’s entire inventory.
“My early childhood was pretty hard,” Jeremy said. “My birth-mom she was, she was always like down and depressed and we couldn’t really help her because she refused the help. And so, we were like, ok we didn’t know what to do. And she passed away and my cousin and my auntie came along.”
Jeremy says it’s his cousin he actually calls “mom” now. His aunt has health problems, so it’s up to his cousin to provide for the household.
“We did this like two times before she found out. When we went home, we had about maybe, I think 115 bucks,” Jeremy said. “The first two times we did this and we gave her the money and she said, ‘where did you guys get this from?’ And I told her to go into the living room and you’ll see our cart with our snacks and stuff. And she was like, ‘oh ok,’ and she went in there and couldn’t believe it. Her mouth dropped and she cried and she was saying how this was really going to help her out.”
Jeremy says he doesn’t care if people might criticize him for being so young and selling things on the street.
“They don’t know the value of what me and my family had been through and what we had to go through to get to this point,” Jeremy said.
Despite his family’s struggles, Jeremy says he’s grateful.
“I’m very thankful for it. And I’m thankful for having a roof over my head and having new clean clothes on my body every day,” Jeremy said.