A Calgary family was surprised not once, but twice by neighbors and strangers with a basketball goal.
Joice Wolter is a single mother of eight children. Her two youngest kids, nine-year-old Darius and 11-year-old Kobe, recently starting mowing lawns in their neighborhood so they could earn money to buy their mom a personalized birthday gift.
“It really touched me because they are this age [and] they think about me,” Wolter told Global News.
Neighbors took note of the boys’ mission and decided to do something special for the family.
“They’re just great, hardworking kids,” said Preston Mortier, who lives across the street. “We noticed these kids were always outside playing and always doing everybody’s lawn around here. We just wanted to do something for them, so we made a plan for them for Christmas — we were going to get them a basketball hoop.”
Within two days of posting their plea on Facebook, a local business delivered a new basketball goal to the family.
Jason Van’t Hullenaar, whose company — Heritage Honda — bought the net, said the family’s story struck a chord with him.
“I come from an upbringing where we didn’t have a ton of money, so this one kind of pulled my heartstrings already,” Van’t Hullenaar said.
Another family bought jerseys and shoes for the boys.
Wolter now calls Mortier and his roommates her sons and they in turn call her “Mama Joice.”
So when Wolter’s new extended family found out the kids’ new basketball hoop had been severely damaged after strong winds blew over this week, they got together to figure out what they could do to help.
Van’t Hullenaar heard of the damaged net on social media and ordered the family another new basketball goal.
“I felt terrible, but actually being able to make it right, seeing her emotions, watching the boys’ emotions, seeing the whole family light up, that’s what it’s about,” said Van’t Hullenaar.
“I’m so happy. I’m crying…I’m not sad, I’m so happy,” Wolter said. “You know what? God really loves me. Seriously, God loves me. Look at this, look at my family now.”