When you’re a family person, the most devastating moment that can happen in your life is when a family member dies. And it’s even worse when your parent dies.

That’s what happened to Raul Acosta, of Glendale, Arizona.

When he was 18 years old, his mother unexpectedly passed away. And then at 21 years old, her mother’s boyfriend, the father of his siblings, passed away, too. He became the sole legal guardian and conservator of his 7 siblings at the age of 21.

His siblings were all under 18, with the youngest at only 3.5 years old.

No one in their family stepped up to help out all seven of them and it was up to him to raise his younger siblings.

“I took on the responsibility. I wasn’t willing to let them go into foster care, get separated, and having to find each other later on,” Acosta said. “It could be tragic.”

He had a job working part-time hours at a local Burger King store but that wasn’t going to be enough.

He was able to get a job as a tow truck driver and that helped him just enough to support his family.

And through the help of Children’s Legal Services, they acquired the pro-bono help of Attorney Sandra Creta to keep them all together. She helped Raul become the legal guardian of his siblings.

“The fact that he had already been packing lunches, braiding hair, changing diapers, using his money from his job at Burger King to fix up the house for years,” Atty. Creta shared. “He was already the dad to the little ones.”

But then the pandemic hit and he started working fewer hours at his job and he began to fail behind in his payments, particularly their mortgage payments.

And they incurred additional fees when the bank found out the owner of the house, Raul’s mother, had passed away. Plus they lost their state benefits, like food and cash assistance and Medicaid in December 2021.

And now they are in danger of losing their family home unless they find a way to pay $13,728.40 by May 6, 2022.
Although Raul did not ask for her help, Atty. Creta wanted to step in and help the family. She reached out to the Association of Sole Practitioners and Small Firms of Arizona so Raul can get a mortgage loan.

That’s when Andrea Gutierrez and Danielle Graham came into the picture to help.
Andrea started a GoFundMe account to raise the funds they need.

“Any money collected through the GoFundMe will be used to pay the family’s bills, such as food, housing, electricity, gas, and clothing, and if there is enough, to purchase a reliable vehicle that would enable Raul to find more stable work. If the family loses their home to foreclosure, any money collected through the GoFundMe will be used to pay for a safe place for this family to live,” Andrea wrote on the online fundraiser.

At first, they wanted to raise $15,000 for the Acosta family.

But after several news channels interviewed Raul, they were able to raise the initial goal within 3 days.

They raised it to $40,000 to help with home repairs, food, clothing, and essentials for the children.

And do you know what happened?

Within a day, they raised almost three times the amount of the second amount goal. Not only will they get to stay in their family home, but they’ll also be able to make it better than before, too!

Want to meet the Acosta family? Watch this video!
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