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Son shares mother's moving letter 'forgiving trumpet debt'

Image showing a letter sent to Mrs Ruffin from James W. Jones Image copyright Jacques Ruffin

A letter writing off the debt owed by a struggling mother on her son's trumpet has moved many online.

Jacques Ruffin, 21, found the letter addressed to his mother while he was cleaning out the hallway closet and decided to share it on Reddit.

Many thousands of people have commented on the post to applaud the "beautiful" and "kind" gesture.

The letter was sent by James W Jones, who owns the Allegro Music Centre in Florida, in 2009.

Mr Jones addressed the difficulty Mr Ruffin's mother was having in meeting the repayments by noting he too had been "through bad times".

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Ruffin, who was 13 years old at the time the letter was written, said: "I had no idea that my mother was struggling so much financially."

Image copyright Jacques Ruffin
Image caption Jacques Ruffin called Mr Jones a "hero"

He added that he is "so grateful" to Mr Jones for giving him "the gift of music" which has "opened so many doors in my life".

"I really appreciate what he did. He is a hero in my eyes," he added.

The heartwarming post encouraged many others to share similar stories of the kindness shown to them in times of difficulty.

One Reddit user wrote about receiving free piano tuition after their father died.

Image copyright Boygirlwhatever / Reddit

Some replied to say they were customers of the music shop and "can clearly see this happening there".

Mr Jones told the BBC he remembers why he decided to write off Mrs Ruffin's outstanding payments.

"It was during an [economic] depression and the mother was ill and had lost her job.

"I did not want the student to miss out just because of trouble with making payments."

Image copyright James Jones
Image caption James W Jones - known as Jim - set up the Allegro Music Centre in 1981

Mr Jones urged those moved by his letter to "go to your local music store, purchase a good used instrument and donate it to a school".

He said all he wants is "to get instruments into the hands of kids who want to learn".

Many people commented on the social media post to say they had been inspired to donate their own instruments so other children can learn to play.

Mr Ruffin told the BBC that the letter has spurred him to set up a funding campaign to help support children to study music.

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