This is one shift the father will always remember.

Sometimes in life, we fall into a bad place. Life circumstances add up, things don’t go our way, or we become addicted to things we shouldn’t. It takes a lot of strength and courage to pull yourself up from that kind of situation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

One father in Idaho not only pulled himself out of addiction but went on to help and inspire others. So, one night, someone decided to pay that dedication back in the sweetest way possible.

A Hard-Working Father

man wearing a Santa hat talking to a man with a beard

A man named Nick was going through a hard time, but he was grateful. After struggling with substance abuse, he had gotten clean and was pushing six years of sobriety. He was also super busy. He was raising an almost one-year-old girl by himself, and finances were tight.

The man would wake up at 4 a.m. every day to get to his shift at 5 a.m. Then he’d work nights delivering pizzas in order to pay the bills. Meanwhile, he didn’t have a lot of family around to help him with his daughter. But he kept going and even volunteered at a center as a recovery coach.

Perhaps that’s why someone nominated him for the East Idaho News Secret Santa program. Regardless of why he was nominated though, he was selected to receive a surprise gift. Only he had no idea.

A Shocking Surprise

One night, as Nick was starting his shift, he was called to a parking lot to deliver some pizzas. There, East Idaho News host Nate Eaton stepped out of the car and told Nick that he had been selected as one of the final Secret Santa recipients of the year.

“No way,” Nick said, fighting back tears. “It’s just been a hard year. I mean, my daughter’s a blessing, and I love her. I wish she was here so I could show you.”

Eaton then handed Nick a series of three boxes. The first was a $1,000 gift card to buy a laptop so he could pursue his goal of returning to school for social work and get his degree in counseling.

The second box contained a $1,000 gift card for Nick to buy diapers and formula. The third box was a note saying that his rent had been covered for the next year, so he could get a jump start on his goals.

An Important Message

Despite everything Nick had gone through and how hard he was working, his first reaction was still that he was undeserving. “There’s so many more people that need it more than I do,” he said, choking back more tears.

As Eaton reminded him, it was a Secret Santa, and someone definitely thought he was deserving of the help. He then asked whether the man had any words of encouragement for others who may be in a similar situation.

“Just keep moving forward,” he said after thinking for a few seconds. “Keep going, pushing forward. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. We’ve lost so many people in the past couple of years, and they’re not here anymore, so the people that are, I’m grateful. I’m grateful.”

Don’t Give Up

Those are sage words coming from someone who has been at an absolute low in life, yet was still able to pick himself back up and find his purpose. It reminds us all that even on our darkest days, there can be light if we stick with it and continue to try and do our best.

This story is also an excellent reminder that sometimes, helping someone else with a kind gesture or a gift can also make a big impact. We never really know what other people are going through, and sometimes your generosity can make all the difference.