VIRAL: SC mom recovering from drug addiction gets huge Christmas surprise for family

ByKaylee Merchak WTVD logo
Saturday, December 16, 2017
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Viral video showing a SC mother of three breaking down into tears after receiving a Christmas surprise is showing the world that little gestures can go a long way.

FLORENCE, South Carolina (WTVD) -- A heartwarming video showing a South Carolina mother of three breaking down into tears after receiving a Christmas surprise has gone viral, showing the world that little gestures can go a long way.

In 2016, Jessica McCutcheon made one the hardest decisions any mother could make - giving her children to the Department of Social Services so she could battle her addiction to drugs and overcome her trauma with domestic violence.

However, in October, McCutcheon was reunited with her children, trying to piece her life back together.

Seeing all that she had overcome, Meredith Shannon, who fostered McCutcheon's 2-year-old daughter Harper with her husband Steve, decided she wanted to help make the McCutcheon family's Christmas as holly jolly as it could be.

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So, she reached out to her friend and neighbor Kate Sepko for help.

Sepko is the cheerleading coach at North Greenville University, and each year, her team provides Christmas for children in need.

So when Shannon asked Sepko for help just days before Thanksgiving, she refused to say no.

After the cheerleaders were on board, an email when out to all of the other athletic departments; five stepped up and the plan was in motion.

Sepko said they had 10 days to pull the surprise together - with the students being on break for six of them.

On Dec. 2, McCutcheon was given a Christmas box and was told to look inside where she found a $400 Visa gift card and hundreds of dollars in gift cards to Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, gas stations, and more.

But that wasn't all. Shannon knew McCutcheon was struggling to gether children to school and daycare without a car, so they decided to give her one more thing - a 1999 Honda Accord.

When the mom saw the keys, she immediately wept.

The sweet gesture and the joyful tears were all caught on camera.

The video was shared on the university athletics' Facebook page and has more than 7 million views - a reaction no one expected.

"Jessica, this surpassed her wildest dreams, and honestly, it surpassed Meredith's and I's," Sepko told ABC11. "You know, we never thought anything like this would ever happen (going viral), we were just glad to step up and kind of facilitate in making this happen."

While Sepko said she feels happy to help give McCutcheon's family the Christmas they deserve, she's impressed with the way the students stepped up.

"They were giving $5, $10, $20, without hesitation and to them, that's a lot of money. They gave it and they were glad to do it, and once they saw the video, they were even more thankful that we were able to help this sweet, sweet family."

With the Christmas spirit comes giving hands, and Sepko wants to remind everyone that no gesture is too small.

"A small thing turned into such a big deal, and I'm so thankful that these college kids gave and the story is being told because this is a feel-good thing and I'm hoping it will, in turn, help others to realize a small difference can go a long way."