Accidentally messaging the wrong person can happen to anyone, and the conversation would probably end shortly after something like an “oops, sorry about that.” But for one struggling mother, her random message to a stranger didn’t end after she apologized. Instead, the man came running after hearing of her plight.
In December 2016, Amy Rickel, of Wisconsin, was having a hard time after she moved to Green Bay to be closer to the father of her three young children. She became homeless and jobless. It became worse when her money ran out while they were staying in a hotel and her car stopped working.
Left with no choice, she searched for her friend on Facebook and sent a message asking for prayers. Shortly after, she realized that she had just messaged the wrong person with the same name as her friend.
She apologized, but the recipient, Brian Van Boxtel, didn’t end the conversation.
“He was like, ‘Nope! God puts us in people’s lives for a reason,’” Rickel recalled to WPXI.
Rickel said she was “bawling and praying and that’s when Brian messaged me.”
Van Boxtel told her that he was going to drop by her hotel and pay her bills. He later convinced Rickel to set up a GoFundMe account.
And, kindhearted people started to reach out to Rickel.
Kathy Schumann decided to let Rickel use her minivan and also give her and her children a place to stay.
“She really tugged at our heart strings,” Schumann explained. “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.”
When another person, Chad Morack, heard of the GoFundMe account and found out that Rickel is a licensed nurse, he helped to link her up to a local medical recruiting office in Appleton.
“Amy will attest there was a lot of work and a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on to really make this happen and to make it happen quickly,” Morack said.
Schumann and Morack are not the only ones who helped Rickel.
Alexandria Witkowski, a senior recruiter at TotalMed, heard of Rickel’s story and learned of her background, so she decided she was going to help her get a job.
“After that I was just, I couldn’t help but continue working really hard to get her references and resume over to our clients so we could get her a full time position,” Witkowski said.
With all the help, Rickel landed a full-time job.
“Pretty amazed,” Rickel said. “I still kind of find it unbelievable.”
“I know that God had me in the right place at the right time and so I listened to my heart,” Van Boxtel said of his actions.
“It’s totally restored my faith in more than just humanity, my faith in God,” Rickel said.