A single mum has been stunned to find a heartwarming surprise hidden in her recently purchased second-hand car.
Jen Willis, a mum of three from Melbourne, was driving in her new Subaru Outback when she pulled the sun visor down and found an envelope with $150 inside.
Believing the previous owners had maybe left something in the car, she soon realised it was a gift to her, which they had called a "random act of kindness".
Taking to the Kindness Pandemic Facebook group, Jen shared a photo of the note which read, "This is a random act of kindness. Please use to spoil your family in a way that makes you happy.
"Just felt it on my heart to do for you, in what sounded like a challenging time for you."
Jen wrote, "Such a beautiful random act of kindness that I was gifted today! With only one adult now in our household here in Daylesford, I did a two for one with our cars and sold our Prado and Suzuki Swift to a dealer and bought a Subaru Outback privately and when I pulled down the sun visor as I went to drive my new car home, this fell into my lap.
"Needless to say, I teared up instantly with this incredible thoughtfulness!"
One Facebook user wrote, "Oh that is beautiful," another added, "Wow what a wonderful act of kindness."
Someone else wrote that it had made them just as emotional, "Teared up myself. How lovely."
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Jen said that she and her husband had separated before the pandemic, but were forced to be locked down in Australia together for a few months before he was allowed to move back to the US.
"I found a dealer who would buy my two cars and found the Outback through a private seller. I asked the owner if I may be able to come and look at it, however, he had already arranged for someone else to come.
"I explained to him that I was under a bit of duress, and asked if he may consider sharing the challenges I was facing with the people who were coming to see it, to see if they would be okay with him selling it to me, if I paid him a deposit immediately – sight unseen."
Jen continued, "I shared with the owner that in addition to my husband being about to head to the USA, I work full time as a School Principal – it's been a challenging school term. I also have three children, my youngest who had not been well and we were worried it may have been quite serious, thankfully it wasn't. I also live with Multiple Sclerosis. So, his car the perfect one for me as it was in my price range and filled with safety features that I wanted as I can get quite tired driving."
She added, "I was also under a lot of pressure to get this car purchase sorted very quickly due to all these circumstances and the stress I was under."
Jen revealed that she was "totally surprised and deeply touched" when she read the note, "It brought tears to my ears immediately. Just to know that not only had he [the car's previous owner] been aware of the challenges I was under, but that he and his wife had wanted to do something just to bring us a little joy was just so moving."
When asked how she will spend the money, Jen said, "I’ll take my boys out for a nice dinner in Daylesford - something that is out of our means with now just my income for our family. There’s a place called Sault that we drive past that we’ve wanted to go, so we will treat ourselves!"
Jen also explained that she had been shocked by the response on social media, "Honestly, while this was such a thoughtful and significant gesture to me personally, I was surprised by how much attention it received.
"I’ve been dreaming of climbing a significant mountain as a fundraiser and precursor to one day setting up a foundation to help others with MS achieve some of their dreams, but there’s been nowhere near the same excitement or interest in this as there was over this simple gesture! It just shows how much we are in need socially of some simple good news stories in times when we are still so distanced from one another!"
The school principal added that at her primary school, they often speak to the children about how we can make a difference in the lives of others, "And this simple act reinforced how much a simple act can touch the hearts of many!"
Jen said that while she and her family is enjoying their meal out, they'll make a plan for how they can pay this kindness forward, "I’m excited to come up with some ideas together!"