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15 year-old Wakulla County resident starts a food stand to raise money for his mom’s medical bills

Fifteen year-old Adrion Mancilla spends his weekends cooking and selling Mexican dishes to raise money for his mom's medical expenses.
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 2:03 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A bite for a buck.

Fifteen year-old Wakulla resident Adrion Mancilla has taken it upon himself to sell authentic Mexican food each weekend. He wasn’t doing it for his own gain however, but did it to raise money for family bills and his mom’s medical expenses.

After a slow start, a social media post gave Mancilla a lot of attention and the community has rallied behind him.

Most fifteen year-olds spend their weekends playing games or hanging with friends but with his mom’s medical bills piling up, Adrion Mancilla felt like he needed to do more.

“I just feel like I need to help out and because I’m the oldest one as well so I feel like I need to take that responsibility,” said Mancilla.

Mancilla, the oldest of four, says his mom has entered stage four kidney failure, is legally blind and recently discovered she has fluid around her heart, so he felt selling his food was the least he can do.

“I’ve been watching her do it for forever and even though she’s blind she still gets up and cooks everything and with all the medical problems she still does it,” shared Mancilla. “And my dad really enjoys it so I like to go out and try to make different things.”

And for his mom Amanda Kelly, she said seeing her son take this initiative warms her heart.

“I’m so proud. Y’all gonna make me cry” cried Kelly. “Because I have three others kids and they don’t do that. They’re too little and he’s out here in the heat and the rain and he doesn’t care.”

On Saturday May 7th, Mancilla first started selling food at a stand in a Dollar General parking lot and got off to a slow start, but that all changed when Keith Godden saw his stand driving by and something told him to turn around.

“I turned around and sure enough he was out there sweating and trying to raise money for his mom,” explained Godden. “I mean just made me think if my mom was in need, I’d be out there too.”

After he bought a couple tamales, Godden took to Facebook and the post exploded and the community responded with so much generosity.

“If it wasn’t for his post we wouldn’t have blown up and he’s been helping every step of the way,” said Kelly. “He’s always posting stuff, letting us use stuff and he’s always trying to help so we thank him.”

The post gave Wakulla County residents a chance to support the food stand, and some even donated food and money to Mancilla and his family. The acts of kindness making them feel there’s still good in the world.

“There is still good people in this world that actually care. And they’ve all been supportive, and caring, and help you in anyway they can. And that’s a lot,” exclaimed Kelly.

Godden says he just did what he thought was the right thing to do.

“I just hope I did my part. That’s all I really want to do is just do my part for the community and for families and that’s about it man,” shared Godden.

The community in Wakulla County said they hoped to change Mancilla and his family’s lives, one empanada at a time.

Mancilla says he won’t be selling any more any food Sunday but next week he says he will be selling street tacos.

If you’d like to help Mancilla and his mother, you can do so by visiting their gofundme page or by donating to their CashApp $AmandaHealthFunds.

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