Even 25 years after Tupac Shakur died, he still continues to impact the world in ways he probably only dreamed of during his life. Fans continue to support his legacy and keep Tupac’s memory alive, thanks in no small part to the generosity he was known for exhibiting.
One such story concerns a boy named Joshua Torres, an 11-year-old who made a major impact on Tupac.
Tupac Shakur was known for his generosity toward children
There are many different stories about the ways Shakur went out of his way for young children, especially those who were facing their own mortality far too soon. He was known for helping the Make-A-Wish foundation, for donating funds and supplies to schools in need, and for always going the extra mile.
For instance, he once hosted a personal barbecue for a girl in a wheelchair with whom he had made a connection, according to 2PacLegacy. He also worked with Los Angeles charity A Place Called Home to help young people from the area with various education programs.
Meeting Joshua Torres had a huge effect on Tupac
Joshua Torres’ parents reached out to Shakur in 1993. Their 11-year-old son was dying of muscular dystrophy, and his last wish was to meet his idol, Tupac. Because the boy apparently didn’t have much time left, the rapper dropped everything and got on a flight to Maryland right away at his own expense.
Without any cameras or fanfare to document the trip for public knowledge, Shakur put his all into making his time with Torres count. He took the boy to a basketball game, posed for a personal photo with him, and tried to be present in the moment for him.
Though Torres had been sick and knew he likely wouldn’t make it much longer, his parents said he was holding on to meet Shakur. Tragically, their intuitions were correct. The child died 45 minutes after Shakur left, according to the book Tupac Shakur.
Tupac’s afternoon with Joshua Torres clearly had a huge effect on him. Soon after, he changed the name of his publishing company from Ghetto Gospel Music to Joshua’s Dream. Though they only had a short time together, the boy made a lasting impression on Shakur.
The family later voiced their love and support of Tupac to a judge
2paclegacy, a fan site devoted to retaining the rapper’s memory, quotes a letter written by the Torres family to a sentencing judge in 1994 when Shakur was charged with assault. They wrote: “Our son was having difficulties and Mr. Shakur told him to hang in there and to ‘Keep ya head up’ which was Joshua’s favorite song.”
They also noted how they reached out when they knew they had very little time left, and by 8 p.m. that night, Shakur had “arrived and spent over an hour beside our son holding him and comforting him as much as possible and expressing lots of sympathy for our son.”
It’s clear that the family was deeply moved by this loving act. At the end of their letter, they added: “We can never thank him enough for all that he did. … We know that some of the public look at Mr. Shakur as a negative example. However, there is a positive side to him that is definitely greater than the public sees or hears.”
[Correction: An earlier version incorrectly said Shakur founded A Place Called Home.]