Thanksgiving is a time for being grateful for all the things that you have. On that holiday in 2016, though, one family hadn’t got much to cherish; they didn’t even have a home to call their own. So, a local woman decided to step in and do something truly remarkable for the clan.
At the end of 2016, things weren’t going at all to plan for Olivia and her husband Eric. Originally from Florida, the couple and their three children had hit the road in the hope of finding work opportunities. They traveled around in what had used to be a school bus; it had since been altered on the inside in order to make it habitable for the five of them.
Olivia and Eric had had no luck in finding employment, though. And after fruitlessly trying to get work in Missouri, they and their children ended up in Colorado around Thanksgiving time. This was because the pair had been told that there were plenty of jobs in the state.
However, a series of events meant that Olivia and Eric were unable to take advantage of any work opportunities. Olivia was heavily pregnant, for one, while Eric had also had all of his personal identification stolen. As a result, money was extremely tight for the couple, meaning that they were no longer able to afford to park the bus at RV sites.
Consequently, Olivia and Eric began selling some of their belongings to improve their cashflow. Unfortunately, though, this didn’t provide the income the family sorely needed; they couldn’t even afford substantial food for themselves. And to make matters even worse, Olivia was breastfeeding her youngest child at the time.
So, on Thanksgiving 2016, the family found themselves in a desperate situation. At a time when others were enjoying big get-togethers with plenty of delicious food, Olivia, Eric and their children were sitting in their broken-down vehicle by a truck stop in Colorado.
But while the pair and their kids might have felt like they were all alone in the world, little did they know that somebody had noticed them. And instead of ignoring the family, the stranger decided to do something to help. That member of the public was named Virginia Kinch.
Kinch was a local mom who had been busy spending her Thanksgiving helping others. She and her daughters had been delivering plates of food to homeless people in the area when they spotted Olivia’s family living in the old school bus.
At this time, the weather was bad, and Kinch was very worried about the family – especially the kids. But although plenty of other people in the community may have ignored them and rushed back to their own Thanksgiving celebrations, Kinch was different. She couldn’t just walk on by.
So, after some discussion with her daughters, Kinch came up with a plan of action to help the family in need. Specifically, as Olivia, Eric and the children didn’t have anywhere to live, the Good Samaritan decided to let them in stay in a spare house she owned in Greeley.
That’s right: Kinch had a second house that she was planning on renting out or selling on. But at that time, it was empty, and she couldn’t think of any better use for it than to house Olivia, Eric and their brood. So, she drove down to find the family and make the kind offer.
And Olivia couldn’t believe what Kinch was suggesting. Indeed, in December 2017 the surprised mom told Colorado newspaper the Times-Call, “I thought it was a prank. That was my mindset, because nobody does that.” But Kinch was deadly serious about her offer. She would later write on a GoFundMe page, “We just couldn’t leave them like that, those little babies in the cold.”
The homeless family would accept the incredibly generous offer from the total stranger; they even went round to Kinch’s house for dinner. Then they officially moved into the empty house in Greeley, giving them a home for the holidays.
But Kinch didn’t stop at merely offering up her property; she also asked around the neighborhood for donations that might help the family even further. And kind locals duly gave food, furniture and clothes, setting Olivia, Eric and their children up for the future as a result.
The Colorado community helped Olivia and Eric in other ways, too. A local church helped Eric in finding replacements for his lost identification, for example. Olivia, meanwhile, was finally able to find the kids some daycare; this in turn freed her up to apply for jobs and attend interviews.
Finally, then, things were looking up for the family who, just a matter of days before, had been facing real hardships. And Olivia would explain to the Times-Call just how grateful she was that Kinch had bothered to help them.
The mom said, “It can be really difficult to get out of homelessness. People don’t understand that it’s so unstable, it’s so hard to get your footing and get out of it.” She even described Kinch as an “angel” who may have played a part in saving her life.
What’s more, Olivia and her family were told that they were welcome to stay in the house until they were back on their feet. And to that end, Kinch set up a GoFundMe page to help with the financial side of putting them up. But it turns out that the kind-hearted woman had an even bigger plan for the future.
Indeed, Kinch wanted to be able to help another family in the same unfortunate situation as Olivia. Therefore, with the help of the fundraising page, she intended to raise enough cash to turn her second home into a “Baby Angel House” – a safe space for homeless children to stay in the future.
And Kinch rallied people to the cause by saying on the GoFundMe page, “Let’s partner to help babies get out of the cold! We could be saving these babies’ lives!” To date, then, the page has raised a total of $5,953 – an amount that will surely help Kinch to support other families in need when the time comes.