WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu man gave away iPads to strangers in need during a breakfast on Saturday morning. It's all part of his mission to inspire others to "pay it forward."
Jessica Lopez plans to use her new iPad to read lots of books. The fifth-grader is just one of the lucky recipients who received a free gadget.
"I wanted an iPad for my daughter. She is special needs - autistic non verbal - and this would help her greatly in communication and just trying to help her connect with her words," explained iPad recipient Christine Tsubaki.
The idea started when Pete Bautista, 64, decided to upgrade his first generation iPad and give his old one away. He posted an ad on Craigslist asking people to write a paragraph about how the device would improve their quality of life. He ended up with roughly 150 emails.
"I really don't give money away. I give hope to people and people that need help. I inspire them that there's people that really do care," said donor Pete Bautista.
Several stories touched Bautista's heart and he wound up buying more iPads to give away.
"In total we're giving away eight iPads and one Kindle Fire," said Richard Bautista Jr., the donor's son.
"I'm like everybody else. I go from paycheck to paycheck. I just do it because my grandfather taught us sharing, and my grandfather told me when I was young, we have no control what people give us, but we do have control for what we give them," said Pete Bautista.
Bautista doesn't like the limelight. When asked about rumors that he was the layaway angel who anonymously paid off balances and gave away $100 bills at the Kapolei Kmart around Christmas, he simply answered: "Let's just say, I might be."
As a civilian employee for the Army, Bautista hopes he leaves an impression that lasts long after the gadgets are obsolete.
"I never met a guy like that. Really life changing. Taught me a lesson," said Bryan Bartolome, a recipient who is a senior at Waipahu High School.