May 24 (UPI) -- A Florida music store is being lauded after a 10-year-old letter to a woman who couldn't afford rent on her son's instrument emerged online and went viral.
Jones wrote in the letter that he would not be charging the mother rent for the trumpet Ruffin was learning to play in school.
The letter cited financial hardships and offered encouragement to the woman.
The letter reads:
"Dear Mrs. Ruffin,
I have decided to forgive the rent on Jacques' trumpet. You do not have to pay me any more for the trumpet. It is yours to play.
However, if Jacques drops out of band and stops playing the trumpet, will you return it to me so I can give it to some other deserving student.
I have been through bad times like you. But remember: Tough times never last, Tough people do.
Maybe, you can help some other student someday when times are better.
Ruffin, who continued to participate in band through school and still plays the instrument today, said he had no idea about Jones' kind gesture until he read the letter.
"To me, I was really surprised," he told WKMG-TV. "It was really nice for somebody to even do something like that. I almost cried reading the letter."
"I had no idea that my mother was struggling so much financially," Ruffin told the BBC.
He said he is "so grateful" to Jones for giving him "the gift of music."
Jones said he remembers writing the letter.
"It was during an [economic] depression and the mother was ill and had lost her job," he said. "I did not want the student to miss out just because of trouble with making payments."
Ruffin said Jones' kindness has inspired him to raise money to rent and buy instruments for students whose families can't afford them without help.