A Newfoundland family says they experienced a Christmas miracle on Friday, when a stranger answered their call for help with the gift of a free car.

"We felt kind of saved," said Kathryn Nichol.

"It was something so needed, and such a warm and generous thing for someone to do. We were totally amazed."

Nichol posted an ad on Kijiji on Friday looking for an affordable car for her son, who recently lost his vehicle in a breakup.

Without a car, her son had no way to pick up his one-year-old daughter from her mother's house or get to his work from his home in Conception Bay South.

'It seemed like a nice thing to do, so I did it.' - Randell O'Rielly

Nichol said she did what she could to help with driving, but the situation was difficult.

"It was just kind of exhausting for me, and losing his independence was hard on him," she said.

"He didn't have a lot of money to buy any kind of expensive car, and I was kind of worried about him buying something and it not being a dependable car for his daughter [...] If I could have bought him a car myself I would have."

Nichol decided to post an ad on Kijiji and N.L. Classifieds, looking for someone selling a cheap and reliable vehicle.

Offer was 'hard to wrap your head around'

Less than two hours after posting the ad, Nichol got a call from a man in Tors Cove.

"It's funny — he said, 'Is your son a hard ticket? [Newfoundland slang for "troublemaker"]' And I said, 'No, he's not a hard ticket.' And he said, 'Well, I'm going to give him a car.'"

Nichol said she and her son were shocked by the offer, and went to Tors Cove the next day not knowing what to expect.

Kathryn Nichol

Kathryn Nichol and her granddaughter Ella. (Submitted by Kathryn Nichol)

But sure enough, the Good Samaritan stranger freely handed over the keys to a good-condition 1998 Audi.

Nichol said her son, Matthew, was in disbelief.

"He's never been given anything like that before. For someone just to call up and give you a car, it's not something that happens to you every day so it's hard to wrap your head around it," she said.

"We went up there and he cried and I cried. He loves his daughter so much... He was being limited with what he could do with her anymore."

Stranger a mechanic in Tors Cove

The stranger's name is Randell O'Rielly, a mechanic who owns a shop in Tors Cove.

"I read the article and it kind of touched me," said O'Rielly, who was hesitant to accept recognition for his act.

'He's certainly someone that I'll never forget for the rest of my life.' - Kathryn Nichol

"[Kathryn] seemed very genuine. She seemed like she really needed what she was looking for, and I had it. So that's it."

O'Reilly had just bought the car a month earlier and was planning on driving it in the spring. However, he said, it seemed like Nichol needed it more than he did.

"This is the first time really I've given away anything of any value, any great value," he said.

"It seemed like a nice thing to do, so I did it."

Nichol said that receiving the car reaffirmed her belief in humanity.

"You turn on the TV every other day and you're watching all the horror going around in the world, then you get a call from someone like Randell and it really makes you look at the world in a different way," she said.

"To know that there's still lots of good in it. He's certainly someone that I'll never forget for the rest of my life."