MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - When 17-year-old Sam Heras walked onto the field at U.S. Bank Stadium, he had no idea what was coming next. The Vikings organization surprised the Irondale High School student with a new car, capping months of community support for the young man who had lost so much.
Heras had quit playing for his school’s football team and lessened his class load so he could work full-time at the Chili's in Roseville. He felt he needed to help his family make ends meet after his father died of cancer.
“I sacrificed, quit football, so we could keep the house,” Heras said.
In October, his mother died after being gravely ill. A co-worker shared his story on GoFundMe, leading to more than $50,000 in donations so far.
“People have been trying to help a lot, and I, I don't even know how to ask for help,” Heras said. “So yeah, a lot of people have been helping out.”
The Minnesota Vikings heard about Heras' story, and decided to help too.
On the field Sunday, they surprised him with the new Ford along with other assistance.
“I just want to say thank you to everybody,” Heras said. “The Vikings organization helping me with the car, everything, people have been supporting the GoFundMe.
Even with all the help, Heras is still working, because it keeps him going.
“It's been a little bit different lately because now I don't have them to look up to, you know what I mean, I don't have them to talk to, I don't have my parents but I know for a fact they're looking at me right now, and are very proud,” Heras said.
He said that now the Vikings have helped him with a vehicle, he can now focus on college plans.