LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Molito's Grill in Long Beach had just opened last year when the pandemic hit. Owner Oscar Rodriguez was facing imminent shutdown, so he put out a call for help, and his community stepped up in a big way.
"The reality is, I'm really struggling a lot so I need help," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez first made his desperate plea for help in a social media post. At the time, he feared Molito's Grill would be lost.
"Sometimes I think you have to leave the pride on the side and reach," said Rodriguez. "What I always wanted-which was my dream- was to have a restaurant."
Molito's Grill has suffered during the last few months because of shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. But help has arrived.
"We're just out here to support our local business. That's what we do," said Jimmy Montoya.
"We all go through struggles and this man's going through a little struggle and we're here to support to help him whatever way we can," said Ramon Fierros.
Some helped by buying food; others offered support by donating money.
"I owe four months of rent so it gives me the power and the energy to say okay, I can do it now," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez expressed his gratitude in a new message.
"This is a blessing. Thank you for making our dream keep going and it will keep going," said Rodriguez.