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These Heartwarming Gift-Giving Stories Will Light Up Your Holidays

The holiday season is a time for giving. Oftentimes, it’s a gift from the heart that means the most. Inspired by this beautiful notion, we partnered with eBay to share some of the most heartwarming stories from around the country — tales full of generosity and thoughtfulness that truly capture the spirit of the holidays. Enjoy!

  • A Present From the Police
    Nineteen-year-old Jourdan Duncan graduated from high school last spring and took a job working the late shift at Pro-Form Lab
    Photo courtesy of the Benicia Police Department
    Nineteen-year-old Jourdan Duncan graduated from high school last spring and took a job working the late shift at Pro-Form Laboratories in Benicia, California, while he saved money for college. Because his job was five miles away from his home and because his car had broken down and he “didn’t want to burden anyone with a ride,” Duncan walked more than two hours each way, every day. This past fall, Corporal Kirk Keffer was on a late-night patrol in an industrial-park area of Benicia when he saw Duncan walking home. It was around midnight, and seeing a teenager in the area was a surprise. He asked Duncan if he was stranded and learned that he was not — that Duncan walked to and from work nearly five hours each day. Keffer offered Duncan a ride home. During their time together, he learned a lot about the teenager, including his dream of becoming a police officer. Inspired by their meeting, Keffer told his colleagues about Duncan and his incredible work ethic. He also told them that he wanted to help Duncan. Keffer’s colleagues wanted to help, too. The police officers chipped in and purchased Duncan a $500, brand-new mountain bike. And after Keffer presented the bicycle to a stunned Duncan outside of his work one day, the two continued their friendship. More recently, the Benicia Police Officers’ Association launched a GoFundMe page for Duncan that has raised more than $35,000 to help him save money for school.
  • A Bench After a Storm
    Last summer, a tornado ripped through the small town of <a href="http://www.falloncountyextra.com/2016/10/28/beauty-from-ashe
    Photo courtesy of Sherry Vogel
    Last summer, a tornado ripped through the small town of Baker, Montana, injuring seven people and damaging dozens of homes. Elaine and Merlin Zink were among the victims. They lost their home.   After the powerful storm, another town resident who didn’t know the Zinks well, Jerry Losing, would often drive by the site where their house had once stood. One day, a pile of large, neatly stacked wooden beams amidst the rubble caught the 54-year-old pipeline operator’s eye. The beautiful beams, Losing would learn, had once held up the Zink’s ceiling. “I didn’t want to see something so nice get wasted,” said Losing. “I just kept thinking to myself, ‘I bet I can make something out of that for them.’” And so he did.   Losing located the Zinks, who were living in a rental home, and was given permission to take what wood he needed. With some guidance from a local woodworker (since he had “never done anything like this before”), he drew up a design for a bench and got to work. Losing worked on nights and on weekends. At times he worked with his son. Other times he worked alone. He cut. He sanded. He applied finish. And he even secured iron legs that had been donated by a local business. The result: a beautiful bench that reminds the Zinks of the home from which it was made and of the community who helped most in their time of need.
  • A Pair of Shoes for His Teacher
    Hector Montez, age 18, grew up in foster care sharing everything with his &ldquo;brothers.&rdquo; &ldquo;Well, they weren&rsq
    Photo courtesy of Hector Montez
    Hector Montez, age 18, grew up in foster care sharing everything with his “brothers.” “Well, they weren’t my actual brothers,” said Montez, “but that’s what I called the other kids I lived with in foster care. If one of us had something, we’d share with the others.   “Growing up, I was a kid who wished for things but didn’t get them. So when I got older, if I could give someone something they wanted, it felt really good,” added Montez, who was adopted by his best friend’s parents when he was a sophomore in high school.   That same year, Montez met Thomas Walser, a teacher at his Lubbock, Texas, high school, the school’s football coach, and the man who became a mentor to him. In an offhand remark in class one day when giving an assignment, Walser mentioned how he had wanted a pair of Nike Air Jordans since he was a kid but couldn’t afford them when he was younger. Most students heard and quickly forgot it. But not Montez. The comment stuck with him.   More than two years later, Montez worked his first summer job, and he saved money from his paychecks to buy his mentor the Nike shoes “Coach Walser” had always wanted.   “You told me sophomore year, this is your favorite shoe,” Montez told his teacher in a video he posted on Twitter that has since gone viral. “It’s good to give back to the man who’s always been by my side.”
  • A Gift of Better Sight
    Michael Stanek has been legally blind since birth. Though he could see, his visual impairment made everyday activities, ones
    Photo courtesy of Michael Stanek on the right
    Michael Stanek has been legally blind since birth. Though he could see, his visual impairment made everyday activities, ones that most people take for granted, more difficult. Tasks like reading, writing, or recognizing a friend’s face were tough. Stanek’s disability prevented him from playing sports and learning to drive. It made going to the theater confusing and moving into a new apartment daunting.   All things considered, Stanek hasn’t let his low vision hold him back in life. He’s an accomplished, bright, warm, and friendly 30-year-old who is, by day, a health care analyst and, by night, a math teacher. His strength and winning personality may help explain why his hometown is on a mission to help him regain his sight — in a matter of speaking.   Last year, Stanek heard about new eyewear that could help improve his vision. And though this wasn’t the first time he had received this news — throughout his lifetime, friends, loved ones, acquaintances, and colleagues had shared stories about devices that could help a person with low vision miraculously see — he went to see a demonstration. The product was an innovative wearable electronic device called eSight, and it actually worked. When he wore it, it did what it was supposed to do.   Word got out in his hometown of Ashley, Pennsylvania, about the $15,000 eSight device. And soon the residents of the small town — with a population of less than 3,000 people — went to work. The pizza parlor put out a collection can, as did the hair salon, the convenience store, and others. The town recently held a fundraiser — the residents just want to help Stanek see better. What’s even better? They’re close to making it happen! Ashley residents have raised more than $12,000. There’s just a little left to go, and folks are optimistic that it will happen soon.   And for that — as well as for the generosity of his hometown — Stanek said he is grateful.

Inspired to find a gift that really touches someone’s heart this season? We thought you might be. Start shopping now to brighten the holidays for your loved ones. You’ll see with a little thoughtfulness and the right shopping destination you can find the perfect present for anybody on your list. So, if you’re ready to light up your loved ones holiday season, remember the gifts they’re waiting for, are waiting on eBay!”

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