A Maryland mother on the brink of eviction and unable to buy her children Christmas gifts got a $10,000 check from Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder after her appeal for help on Craigslist went viral.
Money has been tight this year for Tyshika Britten's family since she decided to go back to school to become a licensed cosmetologist, the full-time student told NBC News.
After missing the pick-up date for Toys for Tots, the 35-year-old Oxon Hill resident turned to Craigslist in the hope of being able to provide a Christmas for her six children — five boys between the ages of 15 and 3, and a 1-year-old baby girl. Britten said she has used the classifieds website to find rentals as well as clients for her hair-styling business.
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"I'm hurt. I'm trying my best. I pray everyday and now I'm begging for help. I know it's not about the gifts, but they are kids! I'm such a failure right now . . . please help me," the dispirited mother wrote in her post.
Britten's children didn't ask for anything this year or draw up a Christmas list, a sign, she said, that even they recognized how tough things were for the family.
On Dec. 19, The Washington Post published an article about the family's plight and "next thing you know, 'Oh my gosh,' it was email after email after email. Everyone of them was saying 'do you have a GoFundMe?'"
Britten didn't. But the feedback prompted her to create one.
Donations starting pouring in — $10 here, $25 there. But then, a "Better Man" contributed $10,000 to the cause.
"We received a check in the mail and it was $10,000, and I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was fake,” Britten said, adding that she didn't take it seriously until a reporter from The Post reached out to her and asked if she had received the check from Eddie Vedder.
Britten confessed that she didn't know who Eddie Vedder was at first. But a Google search revealed the donor was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-bound super star. The Washington Post notes that the family has since been watching the band's concerts online.
Vedder told The Post that he saw some of his own childhood in their story and wanted to provide the family with "a tourniquet."
“I was just so moved by the story and what this mother did for her children,” Vedder said. “I thought those kids must be so proud of their mother for reaching out. That takes a lot of courage.”
In an update on her GoFundMe page, Britten thanked her supporters.
“We love you, we love you, we love you, God is able!!” the post reads in part. “We are ready for 2017! I am truly humbled.”