WOODLAND (CBS13) — It was a big act of kindness from a Woodland business owner who decided to help a mother in need this holiday season. The owner didn't want any recognition, she says her generous gift came straight from the heart, but the community couldn't ignore it and also decided to step up and show their own kind of support.
It may not be the North Pole, but Woodland's own Sno Shack is home to a Secret Santa. One mom helping another and with bags of toys in tow.
The two women met for the very first time on Friday. It was a Facebook post that brought them together.
"I was like I don't know what to do. I got two small kids," said Nicole.
Nicole, who'd rather not show her face, is a single mom who lost her job and was looking for programs that offer rent assistance in a post on a community page.
"Her story just touched me and I just needed to help," said Michelle Wisterman.
Wisterman, who was once a single mother herself, stepped in to help a stranger, not only playing Santa for Nicole's kids but paying her rent for the month of December.
"When she told me, I just started crying and I was like 'are you serious?'" said Nicole.
When Wisterman isn't playing Santa, she's shaving ice and frying up donuts inside Woodland's Sno Shack, a business she and her husband started last March. Since her generous gift, more and more people have been stopping in for a bite paying their own kindness forward.
"But that's not what it's all about," said Michelle's husband, Eric.
An expected business boost from a heartfelt gesture that brought a community closer.
"It's just a big blessing. A big weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I don't know how I could ever repay her," said Nicole.
"Make somebody's day and do a good thing. This world needs it. Our community needs it," said Wisterman.
Nicole has since secured a new job and says she is starting to get back on her feet. Both ladies say they plan to stay in touch.
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