Charity group founder Laredo dies of COVID-19

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Local founder of the Mimi Helping the Less Fortunate charity, which donated meals and sold food plates to raise money for those in need, Juanita “Mimi” Espinoza died on Saturday morning of the aftermath of COVID-19.

Before contracting the virus, Espinoza hosted an event to raise money for people who continue to carry out roof repairs after the storm that recently hit the Laredo area. Espinoza was also known for her organization “Mimi Helping the Less Fortunate”, which provides weekly meals to people all over the city who need help of any kind.

“It is so sad to see that my Tia Mimi has died,” said Griselda Espinoza in a Facebook post on Saturday morning. “May God comfort you in His presence and heal the rest of the family who mourn their loss.”

Other family members, especially their children, have remained silent since their death as they too suffer from COVID-19 and remain in quarantine at home.

Before her death, Espinoza posted a live Facebook video showing how her home was filled with several of her children suffering from the virus. One of the stills in the video was heard saying she would “preferably sacrifice her own life and health” to make sure her daughters are safe.

The news of Espinoza’s death affected the community in general as many people who helped during their events expressed their grief.

“I’m speechless,” said Betty Ramos. “I’m still in shock. I just want to know if she was intubated, what happened, it was so sudden. “

Ramos said she was following Espinoza and her Facebook live updates in hopes that she would recover. The last video posted by Espinoza was on Tuesday.

“She was live from the hospital on Facebook and was short of breath, but when did she get so sick?” said Ramos. “May she rest in eternal peace. She was a great woman and gave a lot to our community. It is so sad.”

Some local community leaders also expressed their grief and condolences on social media, mentioning how Espinoza had helped the community tremendously despite having no political position in the city or any ulterior motive.

“I am deeply saddened to hear the death of a loved one who has always done everything to help the less fortunate,” said Raul L. Reyes, Webb County treasurer. “I first met her during our campaign in 2008, when we were both running for the office of district commissioner. She was so full of life, energy and passion. When the news broke that I had run the runoff, she was the first to call me, congratulate me and say she would support me. “

Reyes said he learned more about what it means to help people through Espinoza. He said she was extremely energetic and talented in making the community a better place.

“Thanks to her, I’ve met so many wonderful people and seen firsthand their commitment and willingness to help people,” said Reyes. “I will miss your chance calls inviting me to participate in activities that have benefited the community and helped fulfill your mission, Mimi Helping the Unfortunate.

“I will especially miss your unique voice and see your Facebook live feeds with your daughter Katie and your grandson. In every video and adventure you shared with us, you could see and feel your love for them. Rest in peace Mimi. You are missing!”

Burial modalities are not yet known. Espinoza leaves several daughters, including Katie, 7, who was a regular helper on Mimi Helping the Less Fortunate.

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