In order to make ends meet, Cheryl Stewart does all sorts of odd jobs around town. She cleans both the U.S. Forest Service building and the seminary at the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also makes rolls for all the funeral services in the Teton Valley. But, her main job is being the lunch lady at Teton High School in Driggs, Idaho.
When the hard worker was called in for a last minute emergency shift, she immediately reporting to the local high school for lunch duty. Several people promptly escorted Cheryl outside the cafeteria doors, and that’s when the colon cancer survivor sobbed uncontrollably at the sight that greeted her. This was certainly not how she thought her day would unfold.
Cheryl has lived a hard life, but she’s the epitome of resilience and keeps going forward no matter what. Her husband has lupus and is recovering from prostate cancer, so she’s the only bread winner in the family. She gives and gives to everyone around her, and because she’s so busy putting others first, she rarely has a chance to make time for herself.
“Cheryl works from sunup to sundown, and in-between. She’d give you the shirt off her back and everybody loves her. Right now she’s using a borrowed car because the engine blew in their van. She’s actually having surgery too next week during her time off because she can’t afford to take additional time off from work.”
After receiving this anonymous letter, Secret Santa decided a special delivery was in order, and sent a local news team to give Cheryl a Christmas gift she would never forget.
Cheryl could hardly breathe and nearly collapsed when Nate Eaton of East Idaho News walked in with a camera crew and called out her name. She knew something was up, but didn’t know what. After Nate asked her why she made rolls for all the funerals in town, she blushed and said it was because she was good at it. What Cheryl didn’t mention was that she did it because she has a really big heart!
Nate revealed that Secret Santa wanted to give Cheryl a something special for all the hard work that she’s done, and produced a very tiny box. Inside was a check for $100, and although it may seem like a minuscule amount for a surprise gift, especially when a whole crew of people had been enlisted to film the whole thing, it still made Cheryl happy since she’s was a hundred dollars richer than moments before.
It wasn’t until Cheryl was handed a second small box that she started sobbing with tears filled with shock and joy. It was only a piece of the puzzle, and as she was led outside to see Secret Santa’s second gift, she exuberantly yelled at all the kids she passed by in the hallway to join her outside.
What awaited Cheryl in the patch of snow was much better than Santa’s sled, and she couldn’t wait to get inside and go for a ride. Oh, and that $100 check? That was to pay for the registration on this beautiful gift of love.
Secret Santa knows what Cheryl wants for Christmas, and he can’t wait to surprise her!