Strangers pay off presents mum picked before tragic crash
THIS Christmas, two children who lost their beloved mum in a car crash will open the presents she chose for them before she died.
And it's partly thanks to the generosity of strangers.
Vicky McGrath was killed in a crash at Beelbi Creek in October leaving her family devastated.
Her mum, Sandra McGrath, said she and her grandchildren had lost not only their daughter and mum, but their best friend.
"Our lives have been shattered into a million pieces," she said.
But before Vicky died, she had picked out presents for her children, Taya, 8, and Oliver, 13.
Sandra didn't realise the items had been purchased on lay-by until she received a letter from Big W after Vicky's death.
There were two separate lay-bys, one for Taya's birthday and the other for Christmas.
The first was about $75 and other about $650.
Sandra was told by managers that Big W would like to pay off the smaller lay-by, but they were unable to pay off the larger amount.
Sandra said she understood and continued to make payments, wanting her grandchildren to have the gifts their mum picked out for them.
Then something amazing happened - a good Samaritan visited Big W and asked to pay off some of some of the store's outstanding lay-bys.
One of the accounts put forward was the $350 remaining on the Christmas presents for Taya and Oliver.
The store rang Sandra to let her know all she needed to do was pay $1 and come and collect the remaining items.
Overwhelmed by the generosity of the unknown person who paid off the lay-by, Sandra took to social media, sharing her story and thanking them.
Then Hervey Bay's Pop Up Homes contacted her, donating $1000 to make the family's Christmas extra special.
Sandra said there would still be presents from Santa under the tree.
But the children will know which gifts came from their mum.
"They will be from her under the tree," Sandra said.
"They will be from Vicky, a gift she chose by her hand. It's very special."