A woman has taken to social media with a heartwarming story of community support amid the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic.
As more and more people lock-in at home, many find themselves out of work and strapped for cash, but for one woman a trip to the letterbox unexpectedly gave her an extra boost exactly when she needed it.
Western Australian woman Joann Smolders tells Yahoo Lifestyle that while checking her mail on Thursday morning, she discovered an anonymous letter left for her.
“Had some luck,” the envelope read. “Paying it forward.”
The 59-year-old opened the envelope to discover a gift of $100 in cash and says she was completely bowled over by the experience.
“I was sobbing and so overwhelmed,” she says.
‘I had just over $16 to last me’
Joann tells Yahoo Lifestyle the gesture was particularly special to her, as a medical condition has left her in self-isolation under the coronavirus pandemic and unable to work.
“I am on a disability pension and struggling to pay my bills, like so many others,” she says, citing fibromyalgia and a host of other conditions that maker her extra vulnerable to the virus.
“I have been desperately trying to find a bit of part-time work that I can do from home.”
She says the extra $100 was a lifesaver, as she is 11 days off her next payment and found herself scraping the bottom of the barrel before discovering the lifeline.
“I was wondering how I would survive next week as I don’t get my pension for another 11 days,” she says. “This could not have come at a better time. I literally would have just over $16 to last me.”
Joann shared the touching tale to Facebook, where she took the opportunity to thank the faceless stranger who unknowingly made such a difference.
“Whoever you are - thank you so so much from the bottom of my heart,” she wrote alongside images of the gift.
Online user in tears over heartwarming gesture
It clearly wasn’t only Joann reduced to tears by the experience, thousands flooded the post with emotional responses, and over 30k users liked the story.
“How beautiful,” one wrote.
“Beautiful souls,” another said.
“I have tears now,” one woman revealed. “How wonderful. Truly there awesome beautiful, kind people in this world.”
Joann ‘humbled’ and determined to pass it on
Joann says she is humbled by the experience and is even generous enough to point out that there are many others who are also in need of extra support.
“I feel extremely humbled and a bit embarrassed as there are so many families with children who have lost their jobs,” she says.
“I wondered why me!”
In another heartwarming example of the goodness a global crisis can inspire in people, Joann said she would be bearing the gift in mind in the future if ever she was in a position to pass along the generosity.
“I will never ever forget this and If I find myself in a better financial position I will definitely pay it forward,” she wrote.
It’s not the first beautiful tale to emerge from the pandemic’s chaos.
In Australia, touching scenes of family managing to share poignant moments despite isolation orders have kept people smiling, with one sweet image of a newborn meeting his grandpa from behind a window for the first time sending many into floods of tears.
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