When a mother of three found herself and her young kids alone and homeless, she sent a private message to a friend on Facebook, pleading for prayer and help, but there was just one problem: her message was delivered to the wrong person.
Amy Rickel’s problems reportedly recently intensified when she found herself jobless and unable to pay for the hotel she was living in with her children — and that’s when her car also died, leaving her in dire straits; she took to Facebook out of desperation in a quest to receive some assistance.
But, Rickel accidentally sent her message to a stranger named Brian Van Boxtel rather than to a friend with a similar name. Van Boxtel could have ignored the random plea, but he instantly saw how much Rickel was hurting and was motivated by a simple question: “What would Jesus do?”
So, he jumped into action, leading to what WPXI-TV has called a “Christmas miracle.”
He immediately went to pay for Rickel’s hotel, and convinced her to launch a crowdfunding page to try and raise funds to overcome her plight. That GoFundMe campaign, which set a goal of $2,000, was quickly a success.
“I am a single mother of three children ages 4, 6, and 8. I have recently lost my job and then my car died. We have been staying at a hotel we can no longer afford and all of the shelters that accept kids have long waiting lists,” Rickel wrote in the description. “My only concern at this point is making sure my kids are safe and warm! Any and all help will be welcomed and received with warm loving grateful hearts, and we as a family will pay it forward as soon as we are able!”
The campaign brought in more than $2,500, but that’s not the most remarkable part of the story.
As it turns out, Van Boxtel’s good deed didn’t end with his hotel payment, as another woman named Kathy Schumann stepped in to offer Rickel her minivan. And a man named Chad Morack saw the GoFundMe page, learned Rickel is a licensed nurse and connected her with a recruiting office in Wisconsin, according to WPXI-TV.
This led to a full-time position that Rickel will start on January 3, leaving the mother-of-three astounded, as she said the entire ordeal has restored her faith both in God and humanity. Those who stepped in to help are also amazed.
“She really tugged at our heart strings,” Schumann told the outlet of Rickel’s story. “And we just felt like this holiday season we couldn’t let the kids be out in the cold and we cleared out a room and brought them home.”
As for Van Boxtel, he believes God simply had him “in the right place at the right time.”
“I listened to my heart,” he told the outlet.
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