STUARTS DRAFT – It’s not everyday that a family is given a house valued at more than $400,000, but that’s exactly what happened Tuesday when Teresa Truslow was handed the key to her family’s new home.

“We are beyond blessed,” a tearful Truslow said during the home’s unveiling on Lofty Circle in Stuarts Draft. “Words cannot express how thankful we are.”

Despite being told in December by Nexus Services Inc. that she had won the home as part of the Verona company’s annual “Christmas Miracle” program, Truslow still seemed to be in a bit of disbelief as she toured her new residence Tuesday afternoon with her husband, Charles, and their two children, Tyler, 9, and 18-year-old Austin.

It was Austin who, after hearing an ad on the radio during the waning days of the contest, decided to submit a letter about his mother late last year. Nexus CEO Mike Donovan said he was touched by the teenager’s “heart wrenching” letter, which detailed the family’s struggles but also trumpeted Teresa Truslow’s matriarchal prowess and devotion to her family. Without her, Austin said, “We’d all be lost.”

“It was really raw,” noted Donovan, who said he grew up in an apartment without his own room. “I felt like I knew that family before I even met them.”

Teresa Truslow works as a third-shift supervisor at the Waynesboro Sheetz and her husband is a manager at Peck’s BBQ in Staunton. Austin, who will graduate from Waynesboro High School this year, said after hearing about the contest he immediately went online.

“I got home and thought I might as well try,” he said. “It was the last day … it was one of the last submissions.”

Austin told his mother shortly thereafter that he’d entered her name in the contest.