Community Rallies to Help Little Girls Found Using Taco Bell’s Wi-Fi for School

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly made what might seem like easy decisions pretty complicated. For example, over the summer, schools had to decide whether or not to reopen for in-person classes, whether to be 100% online or whether to offer some sort of hybrid option.

If COVID-19 numbers are high in a certain community, you would think it would be an easy answer to move school 100% online, but there are a lot of factors to consider such as the home environments of the children, who will take care of them while their parents work and if they have the necessary technology available to make online learning possible.

While those of us who use Wi-Fi for work probably have a hard time imagining life without having all of our devices connected, there are many, many Americans who do not have Wi-Fi at home. While many schools handed out devices like Chromebooks and tablets for students to use at home, those devices aren’t going to be very helpful if they can’t log in to Zoom for online classes.

Here’s one example of a family trying their hardest during very unusual circumstances. Instead of skipping school because they don’t have Wi-Fi at home, two little girls sat outside a Taco Bell to use the fast food restaurant’s free Wi-Fi. 

Jackie Lopez was touched by the girls’ story and met with their mother, Juana. She found out that Juana is an essential worker who picks berries in the fields during the day and sells flowers on the side of the ride in her spare time. She is a single mom who is trying to make ends meet for her 3 little girls. 

At first, Lopez offered to get a desk for the girls to use at home, but then she discovered that the girls weren’t going to have a home much longer. Their mother, Juana, shared that she and her daughters were about to be evicted from their apartment because their unit was scheduled to be renovated.

Lopez set up a GoFundMe to help the family find housing, and generous donors are currently paying for the family to live in a hotel. The original GoFundMe goal amount was $20,000, but over $142,000 has already been raised to help the family.

In an update on the GoFundMe, Lopez shared, “We are speechless and filled with gratitude over the amount of money that has been raised for them.”