Student raising money to help homeless friend

Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 17:06:53-04

A Hernando County girl with a big heart is on a mission to help her classmate find a place to live.

She and her mom have been homeless for the past couple of months. ABC Action News met with the 9-year-old working to turn that around.

Fourth graders Mia and Arianna recently met in class, but they’re already inseparable and learning the meaning of true friendship.

"It makes me feel like I can trust someone," said Arianna.  

Last week, Arianna told Mia a big secret. "One day she told me she was homeless," said Mia.

A secret Mia couldn’t keep because she wanted to help. She immediately went home and told her family.  

"I didn't want her to go without a house,” said Mia.  

While they hung out at school, Mia didn't know where her friend was living, but she knew she wanted to help. She and her aunt spent two days looking for her and found Arianna and her mom Kim at a park. 

"It’s not like she was on the side of the road asking for help. How could I say, 'No Mia, I'm not going to help your friend.' There's no way.  So we're trying to come up with anything we can to get them in their forever home," said Veronica Rojero.  

They started this GoFundMe page and in the past two days it’s already raised nearly $3,000.

"Nobody ever thinks they're going to be in this situation," said Arianna’s mom, Kim Gilham

Arianna’s mom Kim, lost her job a year ago and says when unemployment ran out, they had no place to stay. The shelter they were staying at will only take families for 30 days, so they’re forced to use the little money they have to stay in a motel.    

Kim Gilham, Arianna’s mom, said "It’s tough but we're used to staying in the same room, but we don't need much." 

"I'm just hoping we raise enough money so that we can actually have a home and pay the rent, power bill and everything," said Arianna.

A lot for a 4th grader to think about. But she and her mom have the support of new friends working together to help them turn their situation around. 

"I'm speechless with that. Their family is really, really nice and I'm happy," said Arianna.

In addition to the GoFundMe page, Mia’s family is having a car wash at New Beginning Life Center Church in Spring Hill.  The address is 3350 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, Florida 34606. It starts at 9 a.m.- 2 p.m..