ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Chris Delgado will soon be surprising 13 Central Florida families with some financial help.
Delgado, who lives in Orange County, plans on giving away thousands of dollars within 12 days of Christmas.
“We grew up very very poor,” he said. “Obviously, through the years you know we became lower-middle class, middle class, but I didn’t come from money.”
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Delgado said even growing up with less money, his parents found a way to give back.
“I remember my mom, whether it’s tied to a church or to a family in need, she would always tell my dad, ‘Don’t worry about it, we’ll figure it out.’ Me, as a kid, I didn’t know but my mom was giving the last of our money or food or whatever it might be to someone who would need it more,” he said.
It’s those childhood memories that inspired Delgado, now 30 years old, and in 2020 he created Orlando Giving, a community-based initiative he’s funding.
“Orlando Giving started because I reflected on my childhood, (on) what my mom did and what my dad did, and how they never hesitated to help and that’s what I want to teach my kids. Whether you’re in a good financial situation or not, there’s always opportunity to help,” the father of three said.
The opportunity for Delgado to give back comes this holiday season when he will personally give away $21,000 to less fortunate families in Central Florida, families nominated through his website. Delgado told News 6, it’s also a token of appreciation for the place he now calls home.
“Orlando has been such a great place to raise a family. It’s been supportive of my businesses,” he said.
Beginning Dec. 12, Delgado will be giving away $1,000 to a family each night.
“I have three young kids and I want them to (know) it’s important to give back to your community. It’s important to be a part of that,” Delgado said.
And on Christmas Eve, one family will be surprised with $10,000.
“There’s no sponsor, there’s no massive corporation that’s behind this. This is out of my own personal savings,” he said.
The California native went from flipping burgers at an In-N-Out in 2009 to working in a corporate role with just his high school diploma. Today, he runs his own business consulting company.
“The past two years have been so difficult for a lot of families and I think this (is) really where Orlando Giving kind of stems from. A lot of businesses got bailouts, a lot of businesses got PPP or SBA loans to stay afloat but families still suffered,” he said. “My mission and my goal is to provide in the times that we are (in) now, is to provide still the best Christmas possible.”
To learn more about Delgado’s initiative, visit Orlandogiving.com.