Struggling Teacher Is Asked to Step Outside for a Staff Meeting – Finds Stranger Waiting for Her Instead
Secret Santa brought this mother-of-three to tears.
Pushing through and keeping a positive attitude when times get tough can be really hard. But some people manage to do it in amazing ways.
Take the single mom in this story, for example. Even when facing financial hardships and a sick daughter, she managed to make each one of her kindergarten students feel special and loved.
She was so inspiring, in fact, that someone finally decided to do something for her.
The Rough Couple of Years One Woman Was Going Through
Back in 2020, Darci Orchard was going through a pretty rough time. Her kids were 16, 14, and 12 at the time, and as any parent knows, the teen years can be some of the hardest. However, Orchard’s oldest also has Down syndrome, which put an extra mental and physical strain on the mom at times.
The previous winter, that child had been hospitalized with influenza and pneumonia, which forced Orchard to miss nearly a month of work, as per East Idaho News. That put a huge financial strain on the mother as she dealt with medical bills and missing work, not to mention the emotional strain of knowing her kid was sick.
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Then there was the fact that her car had broken down in the Fall, and the repairs were too costly for her. She was able to buy a car from her neighbors, but it wasn’t reliable for long-distance driving. She had been saving for repairs, but when the person she had asked to water her lawn the previous summer accidentally left the water on, she had to use that money to fix her flooded basement instead.
Still, Orchard did her best to carry on with grace and a smile. When classes shut down due to the pandemic, she organized a teacher parade and delivered graduation signs to her students, so they knew they weren’t forgotten.
“Darci Orchard is the type of person who makes everyone in the room feel loved and cared for the moment you meet her,” wrote the publication. “But behind her smile, there is a woman who has experienced tremendous hardship.”
How One Struggling Woman’s Fortune Changed
One day while Orchard was at a school staff meeting, the principal had a surprise in store. The teachers played a game of Minute to Win It and then were asked to step outside for another activity. There, a stranger with a microphone waited for them.
That stranger was East Idaho News reporter Nate Eaton. He was sporting a Santa hat and informed the group he had a special gift for one of the teachers as part of the news outlet’s “Secret Santa” segment.
He played a game of his own and called out letters. If that letter was in the teacher’s first name, he wanted them to step forward.
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Three letters later and Orchard was the clear winner. Of course, it was all a ruse to gift her three unexpected things: $3,000 that she could use towards her dream of building a porch to sit and watch her kids play, an extra $1,000 to put into anything she needed, and a brand new — and reliable — car.
“I need to hug somebody!” Orchard cried, upon hearing the news. As the other teachers clapped behind her and cheered, the mom could barely keep it together in the video, which was shared on Facebook.
“Are you kidding me? Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,” she repeated as she got into the car. “Thank you! Thank you! I don’t even know who to thank. I’m so blessed anyway. I am just so blessed and lucky. Oh my gosh.”
How One Teacher Proved the Importance of Weathering the Storm
Everyone goes through difficult times in life, and while one person’s challenges will always be different than another’s, it’s how we handle ourselves during these dark periods and remember to count those things we do have that make our character.
Watching things turn around for Orchard is so touching because even at the worst of times, this mom put on a brave face and knew things would get better. She didn’t know how, but she knew she had much to be grateful for. By concentrating on that, she inspired so many other people around her.
It’s a great example of how we should always try and relish in the small things that make us happy, even when it feels like forces may be conspiring against us. Life ebbs and flows. Just because it’s hard right now doesn’t mean it will be hard forever; you just have to keep the faith and do your best.
After all, that’s all any of us can really do.