‘Topeka Holiday Challenge’ Facebook post spreads Christmas magic

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Facebook holiday challenge is taking off in Topeka, connecting strangers just in time for the Christmas season.

Kimberly Huckstep and Brandi Saraquse started out as complete strangers. But this Facebook post on the Topeka and Shawnee County News and Police Scanner Page connected them.

The ‘holiday challenge’ asks people to share what they need and what they can give in hopes of finding a connection.

“My son happened to have some pants that he outgrew and her son needs them so I offered to let him have them,” Saraquse said.

For Kimberly, the pants are more than just a gift for her teenage son.

“I’ve been through some of the darkest times in my life thinking there was never any hope,” Huckstep said.

Kimberly used to be addicted to drugs and trapped in an abusive relationship. Now she’s got a full house, 4 kids, a job and has been sober for 3 years.

On Monday she got an unexpected Christmas gift from a stranger.

“I thought there was no good left in the world. That everybody was just the same as I was, but getting clean and going through everything that I’ve been through, I’ve seen that there are great people out there,” Huckstep said.

She hopes to be able to pay it forward too.

“Just knowing that I can show other people the same heart that I was shown tonight, just with a few pairs of pants is amazing,” Huckstep said.

That holiday giving spirit is something Brandi relates to, There for a while we needed help, so it was good to be able to make sure somebody down the line could get help also,” Saraquse said.

It’s not just Brandi and Kimberly. By Monday night the post had more than a thousand comments. People are gifting things like washing machines, beds, and even an outdoor playset, all in the spirit of Christmas giving.

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