This time of year, everyone dreams of being safe at home, eating tasty food and opening presents, celebrating the holidays with their family.
Unfortunately, some people don’t have a home to go to at all.
That was the case for one family who were out on the streets. They made do with a makeshift shelter, but it was far from ideal:
The family were living in a partially converted school bus.
The situation was especially difficult with three young children on board: a 5-year-old, a 1-year-old, and even a 4-week-old newborn.
The family of five had originally been traveling around the country, but found themselves stranded in Greeley, Colorado, when their makeshift mobile home broke down.
This made things even more frightening, as Olivia wondered how they would feed their kids and cope with the harsh winter weather.
“It’s scary, it’s terrifying, it’s not fun,” she told KMGH Denver. “You can’t give kids enough food.”
But she soon discovered that she broke down in just the perfect place.
For their Thanksgiving dinner, the family depended on the annual meals delivered by local charity workers. One of these good Samaritans was Virginia Kinch, volunteering with her daughters.
It was there she met Olivia, and when she learned about the family’s living situation, the stranger became concerned.
“We were worried with the weather being what it was … them living on the bus,” Virginia said.
So the family got a Thanksgiving miracle when Virginia made them an incredible offer:
“[I] asked if they wanted to move into our other house.”
Olivia was stunned—and disbelieving. It seemed too good to be true.
“I just didn’t think it was real. Like a cruel joke,” Olivia recalled thinking. “Who does that? Nobody does that.”
But Virginia and her family did it. They offered a temporary living arrangement, a major lifeline for the family, to live on their property rent and utility free while they sorted things out.
They even set up a collection of donations to help the family get settled.
Olivia couldn’t believe this sudden turn of events. She reportedly called Virginia an “angel” who “saved her life.”
It’s a temporary fix, but it’s a major step up from the school bus—and just in time for Christmas.
“We didn’t think we were gonna have a Christmas at all,” Olivia said. “We would’ve been lucky if we had enough food or jobs at that point.”
Instead, the family of five now gets to spend the holiday together, warm and around a Christmas tree.
Virginia has now started a GoFundMe page to help Olivia and her family with their next steps, including getting a home of their own.
All of this gave Olivia renewed hope that things will get better for her family—all thanks to the kindness of strangers.
“It helped restore my faith in humanity,” Olivia told KMGH Denver.