Jessica McCutcheon has been working hard to put her family and life back together.
As WAFB reports, the South Carolina mother of three had surrendered her children to the Department of Social Services earlier in 2017 while dealing with drug addiction. She had also been a victim of domestic violence.North Greenville University Athletics/Facebook video
Having conquered her addiction, McCutcheon was working two jobs in an effort to make ends meet. Without a car of her own, she was forced to borrow vehicles from relatives to get to work.
In October, McCutcheon regained custody of her children. But seeing her struggle inspired another family to step up and help.
Meredith Shannon had fostered McCutcheon’s 2-year-old daughter Harper for nearly a year.
She knew there was another obstacle to McCutcheon getting her life back on track, too. As The News & Observer reported:
McCutcheon lives in Kingstree, S.C., about three hours southeast of Greenville, S.C. where the Shannons live.
With Christmas approaching, Shannon was thinking about how they could help the struggling mom. When Shannon spoke to a neighbor, Kate Sepko, the entire community got involved.
Sepko works as a cheerleading coach for North Greenville University. After speaking to the school’s athletic director, Sepko organized a campaign to help McCutcheon. Five different teams donated money to buy gift cards for the McCutcheons. Sepko told The News & Observer:
Some of them were giving $5, $10, $20. It just impressed me so much, you know, five dollars, $10 is a big deal for these kids. That’s a meal or a couple meals.
Shannon met McCutcheon in a parking lot in Florence, South Carolina, to surprise her with the Christmas gifts. A Facebook video from Dec. 2 captured McCutcheon’s reaction as she opened a box and found about $1,000 in gift cards inside.
Then the car keys brought her to tears.
A family had donated a 1999 Honda Accord, and the Shannons had filled the back with Christmas presents for the McCutcheon children — as well as some belated birthday presents for Harper, whose second birthday was on Dec. 4.
Shannon told The News & Observer that they’re trying to help the McCutcheon family move to Greenville, where the families can be closer and McCutcheon might find better job opportunities. She says that she believes McCutcheon is a good mom, and she organized the surprise because she wanted to support her.