With no money, no transport and no place to stay days before Christmas, a single mother with three kids pleaded for help and prayer through Facebook.
Amy Rickel sent the private message to her friend. But there's one problem: She mistakenly sent her urgent plea for help to a stranger with a similar name, WPXI-TV reported.
But her mistake turned out to be the start of something truly wonderful and amazing – a series of Christmas miracles that happened in nine days just before the celebration of Jesus' birthday.
Amy's message was received by a stranger named Brian Van Boxtel, who has a similar name as Amy's friend.
Van Boxtel could have ignored the mistakenly sent message, but he felt that the woman was truly in dire straits. He asked himself: "What would Jesus do?"
Homeless and jobless, Amy and her children were temporarily staying in a hotel in Green Bay, Wisconsin to be closer to her father's children. When she ran out of money to pay her hotel bills, she could not think of a place to stay for Christmas. Worse, her car conked out.
Amy said she was "bawling and praying and that's when Brian messaged me," telling her he's coming over to pay her hotel bill—that's just Part 1 of her Christmas miracles.
After paying her bills, Van Boxtel convinced Rickel to set up a GoFundMe account to help her with her financial crisis.
She did as advised. That's when Part 2 of her Christmas miracles unfolded.
In opening her crowdfunding page, which set a goal of $2,000, she wrote:
"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.
"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 was an instant success, bringing in more than $2,500.
Her Christmas miracles did not end there. Part 3 was even better.
After reading her GoFundMe message, a woman named Kathy Schumann offered Amy her minivan and her home. "She really tugged at our heart strings," Schumann told WPXI-TV. "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."
Topping off her Christmas miracles was what another stranger named Chad Morack did for her. After learning that Amy is a licensed practical nurse, Morack connected her with a recruiting office in Wisconsin. This led to a full-time nurse position for Amy who is set to start working on her new job on Jan. 3.
Amy could hardly believe the series of miracles that started on the day she faced her biggest crisis.
"It's totally restored my faith in more than just humanity, my faith in God," she said.