Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Struggling Mom Breaks Down In Tears After "Life-Changing" Gift From Santa.

You can still have a pretty magical Christmas even if you're flat out broke, but what happens when you're heartbroken too? Stephanie Rivera's kids knew they couldn't afford to spend money on gifts. So over the last three years, Christmas time came an went with Stephanie still struggling to keep their heads above water. The kids knew they were lucky to have each other, and that in itself is life's most important gift. But they no longer believed in the spirit of Christmas. But one day, Santa decided to visit their home and pay them a little visit. Soon enough, he started pulling out gifts from his magical sack and changed their entire world.

The last few Christmases weren't easy for Stephanie Rivera. The Las Vegas mother had been struggling for most of her life.

At seven years old, she unfortunately lost her mother, but the tragedy didn't end there. Stephanie kept bouncing from one adoptive home into another, and by the time she was fifteen years old, she was homeless and roaming the streets.

The last few Christmases weren't easy for Stephanie Rivera. The Las Vegas mother had been struggling for most of her life.

FOX5 Las Vegas / YouTube

By sixteen, Stephanie was pregnant with her first child. She knew she needed to get her life together for the sake of her child.

And ever since then, Stephanie's been struggling to feed her family and pay bills. She had to make sacrifices to keep their heads above water, but it was all worth it as long as her kids were happy.

By sixteen, Stephanie was pregnant with her first child. She knew she needed to get her life together for the sake of her child.

FOX5 Las Vegas / YouTube

Unbeknownst to Stephanie, her life was about to do a complete 180 when someone sent an anonymous letter to the local Fox News affiliate.

Fox5 Surprise Squad’s Operation North Pole's program is all about keeping the spirit of Christmas alive, and reporter Monica Jackson believed no one needed their help more than Stephanie and her family.

Unbeknownst to Stephanie, her life was about to do a complete 180 when someone sent an anonymous letter to the local Fox News affiliate.

FOX5 Las Vegas / YouTube

They knew that gifts were pretty much the last thing on their list. But they were about to learn so much more about this young mom's life struggles.

Once the reporter and Santa knocked on Stephanie's door, she greeted them with a big smile on her face. She was completely bewildered. Once they started talking, the reporter learned that Stephanie had had an extremely rough life. She was bouncing a lot on her own, but she wasn't about to stay put. The hardworking mom even went back to school to get her high school diploma, despite having three kids who needed her round the clock.

They knew that gifts were pretty much the last thing on their list. But they were about to learn so much more about this young mom's life struggles.

FOX5 Las Vegas / YouTube

Now, Stephanie was focused on getting an esthetician degree, which will undoubtedly help her find better employment opportunities and increase her income.

The young mom knew she had a long road ahead. But nothing in life was simply handed to her, so she was up for the challenge. “My childhood was pretty rough. My mom died when I was 7. I grew up from family to family and each time I kept going it was just a new household I had to go to, so I never really got to do Christmas,” she said.

Now, Stephanie was focused on getting an esthetician degree, which will undoubtedly help her find better employment opportunities and increase her income.

FOX5 Las Vegas / YouTube

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