APPLETON, Wis. (WSVN) – A woman received some much-needed holiday help from a group of strangers.
The act of kindness began with Amy Rickel of Wisconsin Facebook messaging the wrong person. She asked for prayers but immediately recognized her error.
She told the the recipient, Brian Van Boxtel, “Oops! Wrong message!”
Rickel meant to send the message to a friend with a similar name. “I didn’t know Amy,” said Boxtel.
However, Boxtel didn’t ignore her request. “He was like, ‘Nope! God puts us in people’s lives for a reason,'” said Rickel.
After moving to Green Bay to be closer to her children’s father, Rickel became homeless and jobless with her three children. They were living in a hotel when they had no money and her car stopped working.
They had nowhere to go. “I was bawling and praying,” said Rickel. “That’s when Brian messaged me.”
Van Boxtel said he was coming to pay for her hotel stay after a simple question prompted him to act. “What would Jesus do?” he said.
He then convinced Rickel to set up a GoFundMe account. “After the GoFundMe page started, it basically blew up,” said Van Boxtel.
That’s when a woman, Kathy Schumann, offered Rickel the use of her minivan. “She really tugged at our heart strings, and we just felt like this holiday season, we couldn’t let the kids be out in the cold,” she said. “We cleared out a room and brought them home.”
The generosity didn’t stop there.
Chad Morack got wind of the GoFundMe, as well. He discovered Rickel is a licensed practical nurse and connected her with TotalMed, a local medical recruiting office.
“Amy will attest there was a lot of work and a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on to really make this happen,” said Morack. “To make it happen quickly.”
“After that, I couldn’t help but continue working really hard to get her references and resume over to our clients so we could get her a full time position,” said TotalMed Senior Recruiter Alexandria Witkowski.
After an interview, Tuesday, Rickel will start that full-time job on Jan. 3. “Pretty amazed,” said Rickel. “I still kind of find it unbelievable.”
What makes this even more remarkable is that each helping hand came from total strangers. “We’re all strangers,” said Morack. “We all just met today.”
Now, they share a very close bond. “I know that God had me in the right place at the right time,” said Van Boxtel. “So I listened to my heart.”
“It’s totally restored my faith in more than just humanity,” said Rickel. “It’s restored my faith in God.”
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