Home > 2013 > Personal Finance

3 Real-Life Money Miracles

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

Most of us have experienced a cash crunch at one time or another, and thought, “I need a miracle.” For these three people, a money miracle is exactly what they got.

The 12 Days of Christmas

When he heard a knock on the door that night in mid-December 2008, Chris Miles wasn’t sure if he wanted to answer it. Would he find another door hanger informing him that he had 48 hours to pay his utility bill or have the service cut off? Or other bad news?

Chris was struggling to keep his business afloat through the Great Recession and provide for his family. It wasn’t easy. He and his wife Lyndsie had three children ages four and younger, and another was on the way. They sometimes found themselves relying on friends and family for just the basic necessities.

The 12 Days of Christmas

The Miles Children, December 2008. Image courtesy Chris Miles.

That night he found a sweet treat with a note that read, “It’s the first day of Christmas; And your true loves gives to you…; A white chocolate orange; You can share with the family too!” There was no hint as to who had left it there, and the person who left the gift was nowhere to be seen.

The next night, another knock. This time he found two chocolate turtles and doves (“Two Turtle Doves”). The third night brought a very welcome gift; three frozen chickens. On the sixth day (“Six Geese a Laying”) day the Miles family found a dozen eggs on the porch.

But it was the eighth day that brought them to tears. There was no money for groceries that day; not even to buy milk for their children. “As I went to answer the door,” he recounts, “I could hear several footsteps running off through the snow, obviously to avoid being discovered. To our delighted surprise, we opened the door to find eight quarts of milk on our front porch.”

On day eight of The 12 Days of Christmas, after all, the gift is “Eight Maids a-Milking.”

“As I brought them all in and I looked at Lyndsie with overwhelming gratitude, she and I began crying and embraced each other in the kitchen.” They were touched by the kindness of a stranger who would “brave the cold and help us during our most difficult Christmas ever.”

The Miles’ never did find out who left those 12 days of gifts. Chris did track their footprints in the snow the night after they left the milk on the porch and discovered that several sets stopped near their kitchen window. “I could imagine that they saw our reaction and I hope they could truly see what a Christmas miracle they brought into our lives that evening. I hope that their lives were blessed more than ours.”

Since that year, business has improved and the Miles family has adopted this tradition as their own, and encourages others to do the same. They hope to make the holidays a little brighter for another family, as someone did for them.

The Dream Check

As an actor, comedian, writer and voiceover artist, Jim Dailakis is well aware that sometimes projects take much longer that expected to be completed. This time, the movie he had written and was acting in was being postponed. But on top of the setback, everyone else involved was paid handsomely. Jim hadn’t seen a penny.

As long as the movie eventually gets made, it will be OK, he thought.

Jim Dailakis

Image courtesy Jim Dailakis.

Then a couple of nights after production was put on hold, Jim had a dream in which his roommate’s father invited him into his office. With a huge smile on his face, he opened his checkbook, picked up his pen and began to write. Then, still smiling, he handed Jim a check for $3,000.

Jim had never met his roommate’s father, who had died in a car accident several years before. But when he shared the dream, his roommate smiled and said it sounded just like his dad. He had been a generous man.

Two weeks later, Jim found a letter in the mail from his producer in Australia who explained how he felt bad that Jim was the only person who worked on the film and didn’t get paid — especially considering he was responsible for getting the project started in the first place.

The letter was accompanied by a check for $3,000.

Getting the check was exciting, but Jim says he’ll never forget telling his roommate what had just happened. “Looks like my dad is continuing to be generous from the other side,” he said.

“Some would call it a coincidence,” Jim says, “and others would call it a miracle. I call it a miraculous coincidence and I was extremely grateful for the experience.”

A Gift From the Past

It was July 2012, and Maureen King, who works as an overnight nurse in Warwick, R.I., had some time to kill. Out of sheer curiosity she went to MissingMoney.com, a website that helps individuals and businesses search for unclaimed funds.

She put her name in the search field, and nothing turned up. Then she put in her husband’s name, and was flabbergasted to discover that not only did he have unclaimed funds waiting for him, the amount totaled nearly $11,000!


Treasurer Gina Raimondo (left) and Maureen King (right). Image courtesy Text100 Rochester.

It turned out that her sister-in-law, who had passed away a decade before, had named him on a life insurance policy. He never knew about her generosity, and may not have found out if his wife hadn’t searched on his behalf.

Maureen says her sister-in-law would be glad to know they finally found the money. “She was the nurturer,” King says.

She and her husband John bought a stove, and took a long-overdue vacation. “It was kind of like Christmas morning,” says Maureen. “When you don’t know what’s in the packages.”

She’s encouraging others to find out if they have unclaimed funds waiting for them. The MissingMoney.com database lists more than 65 million individual and business names across the country (nearly 40 states are participants), and $41.7 billion nationwide is just waiting to be claimed. Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo says, “It’s an amazing feeling. Every time I can put a dollar into the pocket of a Rhode Islander who needs it, that’s why I do what I do.”

Who knows? Perhaps you could experience your own money miracle!

Image: gregory_lee

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team