MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For most Americans, rent is by far their biggest household expense.

But now, one Elk River family doesn’t have to think about it at all for 12 months.

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For 4-year-old Cayden, the prize of the day is his new Lego set. For his 9-year-old sister, Lexy, it was the scooter.

But for their mom, Stephanie Trisdale, the big gift was one year of free rent.

She got the news early Wednesday that someone had nominated her for the gift of one year of free rent from Gradient Financial Group, a Minnesota-based company.

Some local hockey students from Gentry Academy also pitched in, giving the kids present after present to unwrap — hence the Legos.

Chaz Lucius is one of the students from Gentry.

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“It makes me feel good and it makes the other people that it happened to feel good and just know that they can stay on their feet,” Chaz said.

And if anyone could use a sturdy footing, it’s the Trisdales. Stephanie lost her husband, Kirk, in August. He was on a job repairing an AC unit when he was attacked by wasps. He died in the hospital several days later.

Charles Lucius is the owner of Gradient.

“It’s just the shocking part of it that one day things are good, and then the next day they’re not so good,” Charles said.

That’s why Charles’ wife, Tami Lucius, chose them. Tami is also the co-founder of Gradient.

Stephanie says the gift will allow her to take some time to look for a job, as she tries to get back into the workforce.

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Gradient gives gifts like this to two families across the country each year.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield