Saturday, April 28, 2018

Crumb from Indiana University

Oscar Arreaza, 67, is a convenience store cashier at the IU McNutt Residence Hall. In his home country of Venezuela he was a professor of genetics and statistics for 25 years before he and his wife moved to Indiana to help a daughter care for her children. He knew it would be hard to find a teaching job in the United States, so he worked a handful of jobs before becoming a cashier at IU. But he's more than a cashier, as you will see. When Arreaza learned that Mariana, his other daughter back in Venezuela, needs surgery she cannot afford, he put a cardboard box on his counter to collect donations for her. "I always try to help as much as I can," he said.

                                                                                        Courtesy of Becca Richter
Recently he told freshman Becca Richter about Mariana and asked if she could help him raise funds. She realized collecting money electronically might work better, and messaged her Pi Beta Phi sorority to see if anyone would contribute via Venmo. SEVERAL HOURS LATER, when Arreaza's shift ended, a group of students surprised him with his box, and a note announcing a $3,000 donation from the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.  Everyone screamed, "We love you!" "I was so touched," said Arreaza. "I love the students." By the end of the day, more than $8,000 has been donated by more than 753 students. Why?  "He makes everyone feel like you're his best friend," said Richter. "He's a sweet, pure soul who just deserves all the kindness in the world."

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