Principal Calls Lunch Lady In For An Emergency Shift, Changes Her Life With An Unexpected Gift

This story originally appeared at American Web Media.

With jobs at the U.S. Forest Service, Teton Valley High school, and the local Mormon seminary, Idaho resident Cheryl Stewart is one very busy woman.

Many people appreciate Cheryl’s can-do attitude and constant cheer, but the devoted employee’s work ethic is especially inspiring to the high school students to whom she serves lunch on school days. Nor does Cheryl’s busy schedule prevent her from helping out in a pinch –she doesn’t hesitate when the principal asks her to take on an “emergency” shift.

As it happened, this wasn’t your usual 911-related emergency. Cheryl was immediately ushered through the doors when she arrived, which briefly led this hardworking woman to wonder if she was in trouble.

“Cheryl works from sunup to sundown, and in-between,” a colleague said of Cheryl, who is also her family’s primary earner and a cancer survivor. “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.”

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This anonymous missives were delivered to East Idaho News, a local news station doling out $250,000 via a Secret Santa program. When they heard about Cheryl, the crew knew she was the perfect recipient for some holiday love.

So when Cheryl met correspondent Nate Eaton (aka Santa), he already knew of this hard-working survivor’s story. As Santa commended her on her bravery, dedication and courage, he also handed Cheryl a box with a $100 check inside.

However, the money was just a teaser to the main Christmas present. The second gift, a smaller envelope, was filled with a car key. A tearful Cheryl was flabbergasted Santa had given her a brand-new car, which had been on the top of her holiday wish list. It also sounds like Santa’s best present couldn’t have gone to a more deserving recipient!

Learn more about how this story unfolded in the video below!

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