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Boy Accidentally Drains Mom’s Account Days Before Christmas, So Strangers Step In.

Kayla Howard's four sons standing with faces resting on porch railing

It’s always nice to get a reminder of how kind and compassionate people can be to one another during tough times.

Phoenix, Arizona mom Kayla Howard was feeling pretty low in the days before Christmas. She’s a single parent to four kids, three of whom have autism, and she works two jobs to make ends meet. When her bank called her to say her account balance was in the red, she panicked.

The bank informed Kayla that there were seven charges on her account, and she knew instantly that she had not authorized these charges. Further inspection revealed that they came from Google Play for the Roblox app her 7-year-old son plays all the time. Her son had made in-app purchases, not understanding that the charges came directly from his mother’s bank account.

The total Roblox charges equaled $897. With the overdraft fees, Kayla was now $1,244 in the hole. The family’s entire Christmas now hung precariously in the balance.

“The timing could not have been worse,” Kayla recalled. “I’m trying my best not to cry, not to stress out about it. I’m just trying to be as solution-focused about it as I can.”

Kayla appealed to Google Play and Roblox for a refund, but they only gave her $10.80. Desperate, she turned to local television station 12News for help and set up a GoFundMe. The station aired a story about Kayla’s situation, and before she knew it strangers from all over the country were donating to her fundraiser!

Her initial fundraising goal was just $1,244 to cover the money she lost, but strangers wound up donating ten times that amount.

“The last time I checked it was at $10,979 dollars!” Kayla said. “Ten times the goal.”

Thanks to these generous donations, Kayla bought her kids Christmas presents and a tree. Incredibly, Roblox later refunded her for the charges, so now she plans to use the unexpected windfall to start a non-profit for families of children with autism.

“Thank you to everyone who supported myself and my children during this time,” she said. “Thank you for reminding me that there are good people in this world.”

This story is a great reminder for parents to check their in-app purchase permissions if their kids play games like Roblox! It’s also a reminder that people care, which warms us to the bottom of our hearts.

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