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Mistaken Facebook message leads to Christmas miracle for homeless mother

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APPLETON, Wis. – Amy Rickel says what transpired recently has her believing in Christmas miracles, and it all started with an accidental Facebook message.

Rickel, who just moved to the Green Bay area to be closer to her children’s father, wound up homeless and without a job while trying to support her three children.

She had just run out of money when her car stopped working. She went to homeless shelters in the area that accept children, and learned there is a three-month waiting list to get in.

She messaged a man who she thought was a friend, asking for prayers.

However, the message actually went to Brian Van Boxtel, a stranger. She says she immediately realized her mistake, but Van Boxtel wasn’t going to let it go.

“He was like, ‘Nope! God puts us in people’s lives for a reason,” she told FOX 11.

Van Boxtel convinced Rickel to set up a GoFundMe account, which immediately grabbed the attention of others in the community.

“She really tugged at our heartstrings, and we just felt like this holiday season we couldn’t let the kids be out in the cold and we cleared out a room and brought them home,” Kathy Schumann told FOX 11.

Schumann gave Rickel a place to stay, and Chad Morack began working to get her a job. Rickel, a licensed practical nurse, was given a full-time job, which she begins on Jan. 3.

“It’s totally restored my faith in- more than just my faith in humanity, my faith in God,” she said.