Santa Claus is used to getting requests for toys and pets, but a young man’s Christmas wish while visiting with the Santa at Bass Pro Shops in Garland, Texas earlier this month is going viral for it’s incredible selflessness.
Jacob Coker’s dad Jason has been in and out of the hospital for the last two years due to a blood condition that doctors have been unable to diagnose. His most recent stay was December 10—right around the time Jacob went to see St. Nick.
Accompanied by his step mother Emily, the 12-year-old told Santa that he wasn’t interested in any toys or gadgets this year. Instead, he told Santa all he wanted for Christmas was for his dad to feel better.
“All he asked for, all he wanted was for me to help his dad,” Santa told KXAS-TV. “He said he had a lot of pain.”
While Santa told Jacob that he was primarily in the toy business, he did offer to pray with him.
“I asked that the Lord would help him with the pain and that he would have enough joy in his heart to get through the pain,” Santa recalled.
The employees at the Bass Pro Shops were touched by the exchange that served as a reminder of “what Christmas is all about,” and other people waiting in line were equally moved. One woman snapped a picture of the moment and posted it on Facebook in hopes of connecting with Jacob and his family.
The Cokers—and several thousand others—saw the now viral post and a GoFundMe campaign has now been set up to help defray the cost of the family’s medical bills and, in turn, make Jacob’s Christmas wish come true.
“I have no real words,” Jason told KXAS-TV of his son’s actions and the public’s response. “It’s just been heartwarming that so many people out there believe and care.”
As the GoFundMe page, which was set up by family friend Aubrey Blankenship, explains, Jason, an electrician, is the breadwinner, so the last couple of years have been quite difficult. Blankenship said that while it is not “in their nature” to accept help, the Corkers are the “the kindest, most giving people.”
“Jacob’s dad is the primary support of their family. Being ill, impending medical bills, and lost wages has put a damper on things this holiday season. But, you would never hear a single person in their family complain,” the GoFundMe page reads. “Jason, troops through and gets back to work to make sure he can take care of his family, while Emma his wife works her magic to make the most of everything. These two have a heart the size of Texas and their whole family is living proof of the way they live God’s love.”
Ultimately, Blankenship hopes the money will help Jacob’s “Christmas wish come true” and show him that “God is so good, that His love and grace is so sufficient, and that prayers are answered.” Meanwhile, Emily told KXAS-TV that is is just grateful for the prayers and support.
“Thank you very much for your prayers, for your thoughts, for your help and for making this a Christmas our children will never forget and that we will never forget,” she said.
Visit the Coker’s GoFundMe page HERE.