There's no better way to get in the holiday spirit than this story about an unbelievably kind gesture by Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Mike McGlynn.
Last week McGlynn's wife, Megan, was watching the local news when she saw a piece about a mother of three whose minivan full of Christmas presents had been robbed on "Black Friday." The mother, 31-year-old Lori Diehl, is a teacher on maternity leave. Diehl's husband, Matthew, is also a teacher. The Diehls are in the midst of an unthinkable year, struggling emotionally and economically as Lori took off for maternity leave and Matthew completed chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
"We’ve had a long journey this year," Lori told the Indianapolis Star.
On Black Friday the Diehls were shopping with gift cards they had received from family friends and congregants at their church in Shelbyville, Ind. One can only imagine the horrifying feeling of returning to a car, once full of Christmas gifts bought on donated money, and seeing it empty.
"We had struggled this year and people will never know how much of a blessing they were to reach out to us,” Lori told the Star. “Somehow, I felt like I had let all of them down. I was just devastated.”
After seeing the Diehls' story on television, Megan McGlynn told Mike, who's in his first year with Indianapolis. Mike asked the Colts to get in touch with the Diehls, and when they did, he gave the family some much-needed good news: He would refund everything they lost, about $500 worth of gifts.
"I made a little donation to her and her family, just to make the Christmas time better," McGlynn told the Star.
McGlynn called the Diehls after the Colts' win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and he said their 3-year-old son, Brayden, was "over the moon excited" to speak with him.
"We’re so blessed in here, what we’re doing right now," McGlynn said. "To see somebody who has something happen, everybody works hard for their money, everybody works hard for whatever they can get. To have it taken away is just the wrong thing."
McGlynn wasn't the only one who chipped in. Lori's breast pump was stolen along with the Christmas presents on Black Friday, so the police officer who responded to Lori's original 9-1-1 call donated her old breast pump.
Lori told WISH TV that the overwhelming show of support has itself been a lesson for her children.
"They took the time and really helped us show our children that even in times of adversity there are good people out there," Lori said. "We hope if somebody hears our story, they could bless someone else and find somebody in their life they could reach out to. Just the difference it can make, even if it’s just a small gesture."
(H/T to Off the Bench)