Ricky Smith struggles to make ends meet despite working three jobs in Monongahela, Pennsylvania: McDonald’s, Popeye’s, and a Circle K convenience store.
So, when his 14-year-old daughter, Nevaeha, wished for a $200 outfit to wear to her 8th-grade graduation, dad was a little hesitant.
“I said, ‘Mom, Dad, I want this dress,’” said Nevaeha, according to Good Morning America. “Is it in our price range?”
“I looked at the price and I was like, ‘Uh, not really sure, but I can see what I can do,’” Ricky recalls saying.
Ricky wouldn’t guarantee the white top and floral skirt to his daughter, but he worked hard for it anyhow.
He worked extra shifts at all three of his jobs, often seven days a week.
Finally, he was able to purchase the outfit, and Nevaeha’s mother persuaded him to give it to his daughter as a present.
“She said, ‘Why don’t you surprise her?’” Ricky told GMA.
So, Ricky summoned Nevaeha to his office, and her mother accompanied her to record the big revelation.
“I was working at McDonald’s that day, and I put the dress in the back,” Ricky told GMA. “She came and I brought it out and told her that her grandmother bought it for her, and I told her, ‘This ain’t the dress you wanted, but I hope you like it.’”
Nevaeha was devastated.
“I was thinking, ‘This is going to be an old lady dress,’” she said.
But it was the clothing she had requested.
In a video that has now gone viral, she fell into tears and hugged her father.
“To see the look on her face it was priceless,” said Ricky to GMA. “All I can really do was smile.”
“My heartfelt like there was more love in it than there was before,” said the 14-year-old about the big reveal.
“I love him and I’m really happy that’s he is my father,” the daughter said.
We can’t always give our children what they desire.
In fact, we shouldn’t, because they need to learn about life by not always receiving what they want.
But, when we have the means, it’s especially nice to buy our children things out of love and a desire to make them happy.
And, on occasion, because we wish to set an example.
So, this story isn’t only about an incredible father brightening his daughter’s day; it’s also about the value of hard effort and the sense of thankfulness that comes with it.