An Indiana teenager garnered praise for a selfless gesture she bestowed upon a struggling family at Christmas time.
Abby Meehan was working as a cashier at a market in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Christmas Eve when she began talking to 10-year-old Jacob Swetland and his mother, Cory, who were in her checkout line, the Daily Mail reports.
When Meehan asked Jacob what he wanted for Christmas, he revealed to her that Santa wouldn't be visiting that year, which he learned from a conversation with his family the night before.
His mother had been going through health troubles and was out of a job, and therefore had no money to afford presents.
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"I felt like the worst mother not being able to do anything for my kids for Christmas, but to have a 16-year-old come in and help, it’s unimaginable," Cory told WSPA.
It was in that conversation that Meehan decided she needed to act. When she got home from work, she told her parents that she decided to do something different for Christmas.
"She said to me as she walked out, ‘Mom you didn’t meet him, you don’t know how I feel, this has to happen,'" the teen's mother, Mandy Meehan, said. The 16-year-old decided to pay a visit to the Swetland family on Dec. 24.
"She came over to my house and gave me presents," Jacob told WSPA.
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Meehan, it turned out, decided to spend her full paycheck on gifts for Jacob and his three brothers.
"They were just the sweetest family, so grateful for what I brought," Meehan said of the Swetland's. "I knew as soon as I walked in, I was supposed to bring those presents to them."
The girl added that although presents are a tradition on Christmas for many families across the world, it's not about receiving.
"Waking up on Christmas morning, we always go straight for the presents, but that’s really not what it’s about at all," she said. "It’s about giving and for me, giving that was the best Christmas present ever."
Meehan and her new friend met up again after the holiday, and he brought a gift of his own for her as a show of appreciation for giving him and his family a Christmas they deserved.
"Now I know that I’ll always have a friend and he will, and we will never forget each other," Meehan said.
The story quickly went viral, with many praising the teen's selfless act of kindness.
"You are truly an angel, and kudos to your family who brought you a proper," one Daily Mail reader commented. "This is what the true meaning of Christmas is , and I am so proud of her. You are certainly going to go far in life and we can expect great things from you."
"Such a kind hearted girl, i wish more people were like her," another added.