When Berenice Pacheco lost her job in March, the single mom of three was forced to move her family into a shed without running water. Yes, this happened in the United States of America. California to be exact.
"As a mother it broke my heart. I felt like I was failing my kids," Pacheco told TODAY Parents.
The family was down to their last $12 when 8-year-old son Aaron approached his mom with a plan: he wanted to start his own business, selling plants.
Believing in her son, Pacheco gave Aaron all $12. He used that money to buy his first succulent plants, which he sold for a $4 profit.
Aaron continued investing his profits right back into his business, which he named Aaron's Garden. He set up a table outside their shed and sold his plants to his East Los Angeles community.
In order to buy his plants, Aaron and his mom often had to wake up early and take multiple buses to and from nurseries. Aaron also started a popular Instagram account, where he shares pictures of his plants, facts about plant life, and details about his growing business.
Someone also started a GoFundMe on behalf of Aaron and his family. It's raised over $38,000 to date. With that money, Aaron and his family have moved into a one-bedroom apartment and purchased a car. Now instead of riding buses with his plants taking up multiple seats, Aaron's mom can drive him and his plants where they need to go.
"We finally have our own kitchen. Aaron and his sister have a place to do homework," Pacheco told TODAY Parents. "It's not big but it feels huge to us."
Aaron's Garden is expanding, too.
The family is converting their new garage into Aaron's permanent store, where he'll be able to sell more plants ever before.
Aaron has big goals. He wrote on Instagram, "My next job after having my own plant shop will be working for nike and making my own shoes and then I plan to go to the univeristy so I can become a judge."
We love to see Aaron's dedication his family and his business. We wish them good luck with Aaron's Garden, but let's be real: This is both a feel good story and an absolute tragedy. A child should not feel responsible for lifting their family out of homelessness. Our society and our lawmakers should be showing a faction of the initiative this literal child has.