“People just need somebody who cares.”

Back in 1897, an 8-year-old girl wrote a letter to the New York Sun asking “Is there a Santa Claus?” Her name was Virginia. The response, by lead editorial writer Francis P. Church, became the most republished editorial in the history of U.S. journalism.

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” Church famously wrote. “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

Fast forward 125 years and In a cool twist of fate, it seems that a woman named Virginia and Santa Claus? Are one and the same.

A Mom Meets a Struggling Homeless Family

Woman-holding-a-Christmas-gift-box

Virginia Finch and her daughters were delivering Thanksgiving meals to the homeless in Greeley, Colorado when they met a struggling family living in a broken-down converted school bus behind a gas station.

Eric and Olivia, along with their 3 small children, ages 5, 14 months, and 1 month, had been traveling across the U.S. when they became stranded in Greeley, Colorado.

Broke and homeless and with the snow and cold weather setting in, the family’s situation was dire and getting worse.

Virginia knew she had to do something.

“There’s no way I’m going to leave a baby with no crib for a bed on Christmas,” she thought to herself. Then she got an idea. A wonderful, amazing, remarkable idea.

A Home for the Holidays

The Finches had recently renovated a second house and were planning to either sell it or rent it out. Instead, they offered it to the desperate family, rent and utility-free.

“We drove back down and asked them if they wanted to move into our other house,” Virginia told Denver 7 News.

“I just didn’t think it was real,” a shocked Olivia said. “I thought it was like a cruel joke, almost, ’cause who does that? Nobody does that.”

But somebody did do it.

Not only did Virginia and her family provide Eric and Olivia with a free, furnished house but they also spent a week gathering donations of food, clothing, and toys to give to the family.

“It’s helped restore my faith in humanity and hopefulness.”

Olivia via Denver 7 News

(Ours too.)

Not only did Virginia potentially save the family’s lives but she saved their holiday too. The gift was nothing short of a Christmas miracle for the family. “We didn’t think we were going to have a Christmas, at all. We would have been lucky if we’d had enough food or if we got jobs at that point,” Olivia said.

Virginia might not actually BE Santa Claus, but there’s no doubt that she is an angel.

While we can’t all afford to gift someone a house, we can make an effort to help someone who is struggling. Even small gestures of kindness can add up to big differences in someone’s world.

As Olivia put it, “People just need somebody to care.”

And hope? Well, that may be the greatest gift of them all.