Meet February’s Community Heroes: Brothers Juan and Ruben Salazar

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(February 18, 2016)- On any given night… snow, rain, or shine you won’t find brothers Juan and Ruben Salazar at home playing video games.  You’ll likely find these middle school boys giving out care packages to Indy’s homeless.  For them, it’s a way to care for our city’s most vulnerable and heal from their personal pain and trauma.

The boys were riding with their mother Andrea in 2014.  Their SUV was hit from behind by a semi, causing it to flip 4 or 5 times.  Both boys were thrown out of the SUV but the semi ran over Juan’s foot crushing it.  Andrea remembers that moment, “I heard my kids from outside the vehicle crying and calling for me. It was pretty horrific.”  They all spent time in the hospital.  Juan’s injuries were the worst. He had several surgeries, skin grafts, and had to learn to walk again. “It’s a struggle. It’s a struggle mentally and physically still.”   Through all the pain, trauma, and medical bills Andrea wants her children to learn and always remember one thing:  No matter how tough things are, there is always someone who has it worse.

Juan and Ruben embraced that lesson and ran with it!  The boys decided they wanted help people who are less fortunate. So, Andrea and the boys routinely go out and buy blankets, food, care items, and food.  They make care packages, recruit their friends to help, and then pass those care packages out to people who can use them.  Ruben says, “I think it’s pretty fun to come out here and give back to the community.  It makes me feel good that we help other people out because I know a lot of people helped us out when we were in a bad condition after the accident.”

For reminding us to always keep our struggles in perspective and continuously live with a heart to serve…. Fox 59 and Community Health Network congratulate Juan and Ruben Salazar for being our February Community Heroes of the Month.

Nominate a Community Hero of the Month here.