“We will never forget each other.” Sixteen-year-old surprises family in need for Christmas

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Christmas may be over but for some, it’s a holiday they will never forget.

That’s thanks to one local 16-year-old who was determined to make sure a family in need had a Christmas to remember.

That girl is Abby Meehan. She works as a cashier at Baesler’s Market.

After working a double shift Christmas Eve, she planned to spend the holiday with her family but she had a change of heart.

“It was meant to be for him to come through my line and for me hear that because I was going to do something about it, I had to,” said Abby Meehan.

That’s because she met 10-year-old Jacob Swetland. Meehan asked what he wanted for Christmas and he rattled off some games.

“And then his mom turned to me and said, ‘Santa isn’t coming this year, we don’t have enough money for all that’,” said Meehan.

She rushed home from work and announced to her family that the Christmas plans are changing.

“She said to me as she walked out, ‘Mom you didn’t meet him, you don’t know how I feel, this has to happen’,” said Abbey’s mother, Mandy Meehan.

Then the 16-year-old knocked on the Swetland’s door that Christmas Eve night.

“She came over to my house and gave me presents,” said Jacob Swetland.

Meehan spent her entire paycheck on gifts for Swetland and his three brothers.

“I felt like the worst mother not being able to do anything for my kids for Christmas, but to have a 16-year-old come in and help, it’s unimaginable,” said the boy’s mother, Cory Swetland.

“They were just the sweetest family, so grateful for what I brought,” said Meehan. “I knew as soon as I walked in, I was supposed to bring those presents to them.”

“To see the smile on his face, and all the boys’ faces, made it so worth it for me,” said Swetland.

“Waking up on Christmas morning, we always go straight for the presents but that’s really not what it’s about at all,” said Meehan. “It’s about giving and for me, giving that was the best Christmas present ever.”

When Meehan and Swetland met again Monday, he brought with him a gift of his own. It was a thank you card for the girl who gave him a Christmas he’ll always remember.

“Now I know that I’ll always have a friend and he will, and we will never forget each other,” said Meehan.