Things That Matter

This Latina Opens Up About Her Sister’s Suicide And Hopes It Encourages People To Speak Up And Seek Help

Claudia lost her sister to suicide 2 years ago. She hopes her message with help someone like you. She wants you to know..You Matter Get the help you need. Speak to someone. Call 800-273-TALK. #ShareIfYouCare #YouAreNotAlone #SuicidePrevention

Posted by Power 106 Los Angeles on Friday, September 8, 2017

“Seeking help sometimes just gives you a different perspective on the same situation.”

On December 9th, 2015, Claudia Gutierrez lost her little sister Katherine to suicide, and now she is telling her story to help bring awareness to the issue of mental health and suicide. Gutierrez recently spoke to Los Angeles radio station Power 106, touching on several details about her sister Katherine.

With a smile on her face, Gutierrez recalled, “She had the most beautiful eyes. They were green. She was so full of life. She had really long hair. She was so funny and witty. I have never met anyone as funny as she is. I don’t think she saw those things about herself.” Despite how happy Katherine appeared, in the summer of 2013, Gutierrez and her family got a call from Katherine’s school and were told that she was cutting her arms. It was then that Katherine admitted to struggling with depression and having suicidal thoughts. Even after Katherine tried to explain, her family didn’t understand why she suffered from depression. Her family also wasn’t aware that she was abusing alcohol as a way to deal with the pain. It wasn’t until Katherine was sent to the hospital for alcohol poisoning that her family understood the gravity of her depression. “The hospital felt strongly that she was a harm to herself, so she went into the psych ward,” Gutierrez explains. Gutierrez and her family thought Katherine had improved after entering the psych ward, but that wasn’t the case.

“On November 24th, her boyfriend committed suicide,” Gutierrez recalls. After Katherine’s boyfriend committed suicide, Gutierrez and her family grew even more worried about Katherine’s life. However, Gutierrez admits, “Towards the end, she told us she was fine and I think we so desperately wanted to believe she was fine… that we did. We believed her. We thought she was okay.”

On December 9th, 2015, Claudia Gutierrez lost her sister Katherine to suicide. And today, as part of the campaign for Suicide Prevention Awareness, Gutierrez is sharing her experience and sending out a message to others who are struggling with a similar situation.

“Seeking help sometimes gives you a different perspective on the same situation. I want to help someone in my sister’s situation and also in my situation. I just wish I would’ve asked her more about her. What she wanted out of life, what she was looking forward to. Just to give her that hope and that encouragement, that there are more things that you want for your life. There are things you want to do and there are things that you will accomplish in your life. I wish I would’ve asked her that so I could’ve given her that motivation and let her know, your goals do matter. Your accomplishments do matter. You matter.”

If you or someone you know, is struggling with depression and might be having suicidal thoughts, please call for help at 1-800-273-8255. 

READ: Here’s How Demi Lovato Is Paying It Forward After Changing Her Life

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Neighbors Raised $60k to Keep this Mariachi Band Family From Being Evicted During the Pandemic

Things That Matter

Neighbors Raised $60k to Keep this Mariachi Band Family From Being Evicted During the Pandemic

Photo via Cielito Lindo Family Folk Music/Facebook

While the pandemic has negatively impacted a lot of Americans, those who derived their income from in-person industries like food, hospitality, and live entertainment, have been hit the hardest.

Once COVID-19 shut the country down, many household were forced to scramble to make ends meet. And while the government offered some assistance, for many it wasn’t enough.

This predicament was exactly what the Chicago family, the Luceros, were going through.

The Luceros are a Chicago-based Mexican-American family who moonlight as the mariachi band, Cielito Lindo. Around Chicago, the Lucero family was known for their astonishing musical abilities.

Juan and Susie Lucero are parents to a talented team of seven children, all of whom play different musical instruments and have breathtaking singing voices. Diego, Miguel, Antonio, Carlos, Lilia, Maya, and Mateo all have different roles within the band, while Juan is the bandleader.

Before the pandemic, the Lucero family derived the majority of their income from their live performances. They would cover classic favorites like “El Rey” as well as doing mariachi-twists on modern pop hits like Cardi B’s “I Like it Like That”.

But when COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, the Lucero family was no longer allowed to play live events.

All of their performances were canceled. Even their long-standing weekly gig at a local restaurant disappeared. Their income dropped by 40%.

While the Luceros tried to cut corners and make small changes, the reality was, they couldn’t keep up with their bills. By the time Christmas rolled around, they were $18,000 behind on rent. They got an eviction notice.

The family had heard that the government had launched a rent-assistance program, but they couldn’t find many details on how to apply. They were completely lost.

Desperate for help, Juan Lucero reached out to his Facebook friends, asking them if they knew how to apply for government assistance.

But what he got in return was something even better. Their community decided to step up and take action.

“A few of us talked and said, ‘We can’t let them be evicted from their home. There’s just no way,'” their neighbor, Robert Farster, recently told CBS This Morning.

Farster ended up creating a GoFundMe page for the Lucero family. “Our good friends, the Luceros, need help,” he wrote. “Juan, Susy and their seven kids are too proud to ask for it, so as their friends, we’re stepping in.”

Within days, Farster had raised over $60,000, veritably saving the Luceros from eviction.

“It’s like a miracle. We didn’t expect that,” Juan Lucero told This Morning. “It feels like a big warm hug from many people.”

Juan’s wife, Susy Lucreo felt the same way. Despite these divisive times, she felt tons of love and support from her community.

“We feel very much loved and accepted as a Mexican-American family with roots in Guadalajara,” she told This Morning. “And we come together to share that combination of culture, which really is what America is all about–this big melting pot.

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A Doorbell Camera Captured The Terrifying Moment A Neighbor Saved A Family From Their burning home

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A Doorbell Camera Captured The Terrifying Moment A Neighbor Saved A Family From Their burning home

braclark / Getty

A family from Arizona has tragically been without a home since New Year’s Day. Fortunately, however, thanks to the swift efforts of a neighbor, they still have each other.

On New Year’s Day, the Salgado family was asleep in their home in Avondale, Arizona when they heard a frantic knock at their door. Nicole Salgado’s husband, who lived in the home with their children, opened the front door to find her neighbor shouting at her to get her family out of the house. It was on fire.

The Salgado family woke up New Year’s Day to find their house in flames.

nicolenevarez5 / TikTok

“We were all asleep,” Salgado explained to CNN in an interview. “Then all of the sudden around 7:30 in the morning, we hear banging on our door and our doorbell is going off and we kind of get scared.”

Their neighbor, Carolyn Palisch, was there telling them to get out of the house. Footage from the family’s home security video shows their neighbor running past flames to get to the home.

“He opened the door and all I heard was our neighbor Carolyn saying your house is on fire you have to get out,” said Salgado.

Salgado, who is a mother to four children, hurried to gather her children. Together, all of them escaped the burning home safely. “It was just kind of frantic at first, making sure we got everyone out and the dogs out,” she explained. “Then once we realized the full extent of it we were just in shock as we watched our home burn.”

Sadly, the Salgado family lost all their belongings in the fire

Salgado explained that the roof of her house collapsed moments after they escaped. According to CNN, firefighters at the scene claimed that if the family had still been sleeping at the time the roof had collapsed they would have inhaled the smoke and likely passed out immediately.

We are so thankful to just be alive,” Salgado explained in a post to her TikTook page. She also included doorbell camera footage of the moment their neighbor came to the rescue.

Salgado’s video has been liked nearly 7 million times on TikTok.

“Never did we think it was going to blow up the way it did. But we are so grateful,” Salgado explained. “We are so glad it did for Carol, to show how amazing she is. If it wasn’t for her it’d be a totally different story. We feel so thankful to her. We’re always going to consider her family. She not only saved us, she saved our kids.”

Salgado says that the cause of the fire is still under investigation and shared that her family has created a Go Fund Me account to help them rebuild their lives.

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