A kind gesture has struck a chord on the internet.
Nearly a decade ago, Jacques Ruffin was given the gift of music, but didn’t know it at the time, MNN reports.
Recently, Ruffin, now 21, was cleaning out a hallway closet and found a letter from James Jones, the owner of Allegro Music Centre in Florida, to Ruffin’s mother.
Dated Dec. 17, 2009, the letter said that the store owner was forgiving the mother’s debt on the trumpet she had been renting for her son and was giving Jacques the trumpet.
“I have been through bad times like you,” the letter read. “But remember, Tough times never last, Tough people do.”
After Ruffin posted the note on Reddit, comments began pouring in lauding the kind gesture, some sharing similar stories of generosity and others saying they had been inspired to donate their own old instruments to students in need.
“I had no idea that my mother was struggling so much financially,” Ruffin tells the BBC.
Jones, who seemed a little embarrassed by all the attention, according to one Redditor who visited his store, said that Ruffin’s mother had lost her job and he didn’t want Jacques to “miss out just because of trouble with making payments.”
He’s done the same for other students and encouraged other music lovers to donate instruments to schools when possible to help out “kids who want to learn.”
Ruffin says he is grateful to Jones for giving him a gift that has “opened so many doors” for him.
“I really appreciate what he did,” he said. “He is a hero in my eyes.”
Ruffin has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for music programs so that “every student that is interested in learning to play an instrument will have the ability to do so.”