Florida mom fueled by holiday cheer hugs stranger, gets $20k


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman caught up in what she calls the magic of Christmas, accidentally hugged a stranger at a gas station parking lot and now the video is going viral.

Mary Katherine Backstrom says she was feeling the holiday cheer so she bought a soda for the woman standing in line in front of her. She left the store and saw a stranger cleaning her car windshield.

The delighted woman hugged the man and excitedly told him, “This is my favorite part of humanity. I love Christmas so much. Thank you for doing this.”

Turns out it wasn’t her car. The man was washing his own car windshield. His car just looked like Backstrom’s car The two had a good laugh and the popular mommy blogger recounted the incident in an online video that went viral with more than 78 million views.

She appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday. The comedian said she loved Backstrom’s video and heard she’d done a lot of paying it forward from donating a kidney to paying a friend’s bill to helping a waitress fix her car.

The TV host then presented Backstrom with an oversized check for $20,000.

The News-Press reports the 35-year-old mom said she’s not sure what she and her husband will do with the money but will likely do some random acts of kindness.


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