$5 turns into amazing Christmas present for struggling family - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

$5 turns into amazing Christmas present for struggling family

Brian Bailey approached the couple in an aisle. Brian Bailey approached the couple in an aisle.
Samleah was brought to tears after opening the box. Samleah was brought to tears after opening the box.
The box of donated money. The box of donated money.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Five dollars just doesn't buy much anymore or does it? Wednesday night social media turned a simple idea into a major Christmas gift for a struggling family.

The gift came from a group of people in south Louisville who wanted to randomly surprise a family. Turns out, it may have been the best surprise of their life.

In the middle of the K-Mart parking lot on Dixie Highway sat a beautifully wrapped box complete with a homemade card signed by total strangers.

Little by little, the gift kept getting bigger.

"I put $10 from me and from my dad's family," said Amber Daugherty as she slipped some money into the box.

With so many families scraping by during the holidays, Brian Bailey of Pleasure Ridge Park, started connecting with friends on Facebook. "I had an idea," he said, "Let's see how far we can go with $5."

One friend told another and so on.

Bailey explained, "I thought wow, if we can get enough people together to put $5 in the box, we can make someone's Christmas." Five dollars turned into $10 then to $100 and it kept coming.

A random act of kindness was about to turn into a random act of Christmas.

"Right now, we're about to make someone's day," Bailey told the crowd of givers that had gathered in the K-Mart parking lot, "They have no idea what's about to happen to them."

Nervously, Bailey walked in the store and began searching for the perfect K-Mart shoppers. He hoped he would get a feeling about a family; he did.

Walking up on a couple with a little girl and young boy, Bailey somehow convinced them if they come outside, they won't be sorry.

The family walked out to the parking lot and saw the wrapped Christmas box with a crowd of people surrounding it.

Father Raymond Bruce introduced himself, his wife Samleah, his daughter and a young boy he works with.

The kind strangers would soon find out Raymond had taken a second job working with special needs children to help put gifts under the tree for his own girls.

As the family began to open the box, they were overwhelmed with emotion. "Oh thank you, thank you so much," Raymond cried, "I really appreciate it."

"Thank you so much," Samleah cried. Raymond added, "If y'all only knew what this really meant to us, I mean this don't feel real, you never see this."

As the family counted the money, it was more than $500, there wasn't a dry eye in the parking lot.

"I just want to say thank you," Samleah told the crowd, "Because you didn't have to do it and we need more people in the world like that."

Before he goes to work with special needs children, Raymond works with troubled youth for Louisville Metro.

The Facebook group "I Am Dixie Highway," helped get the word out fast about Wednesday's $5 dollar Christmas. The idea started just 24 hours before.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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