Jennifer Shook may have felt like Christmas arrived before Thanksgiving, and that’s not just because she worked at a craft store where seasonal items were being put out at little early.
Jennifer Shook, a single mother of four teenage boys, was surprised Wednesday with a year’s rent for a year and a $250 gift card to Ky-Vee as the winner of the “Home Free” contest, sponsored by radio station The Wind 88.3 and KWFC 89.1, along with LaTour Advisory Group.
“[This is] a relief for me and my kids,” Shook said as she was surprised by the prize.
Shook had been nominated for the contest by Amy Bucy, her manager at a Branson area Michaels Arts and Crafts store for the prize.
“Jennifer is the most amazing employee,” Bucy said. “She’s at work every day and she works hard. She has health issues herself but she always comes to work. I know this is going to be a blessing and touch her heart.”
Shook and her family have been going through one of a parent’s worst nightmares: a cancer diagnosis for her 12-year-old son. He went to the doctor with her mother one day and Shook was called to say they were giving her son an emergency appendectomy.
It was because of that surgery that they found the cancer.
Shook has been driving from Springfield to Branson daily to support her family. Her manager Bucy heard of the contest and nominated Jennifer without her employee’s knowledge.
“At this time, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I don’t know if you know how much God cares for you and your boys,” Joe La Tour told Jennifer as they awarded the prize. “I just want you to know that we’re praying for you and your boys.”
The contest involved area residents nominating friends, co-workers or neighbors who would be blessed by having a year’s rent paid. The stories were sent to the radio stations, who sent semi-finalists to a radio station in Alabama that had worked with the local radio group in the past to eliminate any bias from the choice of winner.
Video of the event was captured by the radio station:
(Headline photo screen capture from radio station video.)