Mom recovering from addiction reunited with kids, then gets Christmas surprise of a lifetime

FLORENCE, South Carolina — A mother from South Carolina gave up her three children so she could get help for drug abuse.

Now, she not only has her kids back, but she’s also been given gifts that will change their lives.

Video of the surprise has gone viral. reports that Jessica McCutcheon gave up her children earlier this year while battling addiction and domestic violence.

Meredith Shannon stepped in as the foster mom for McCutcheon’s daughter, Harper.

McCutcheon recovered and was able to get her children back in October. And Shannon wanted to help her for Christmas. Shannon’s neighbor, Kate Sepko, a cheerleading coach at North Greenville University, offered to help, too, and enlisted the assistance of several athletes.

Then came the surprise.

The viral video shows McCutcheon opening a box, then a red envelope. Inside, there were gift cards for hundreds of dollars. She instantly broke into tears.

Then they handed her a set of car keys.

“I’m scared to touch it,” she said. “All this?”

“She was borrowing people’s cars to get to work and to get her kids to school and I just felt that God laid it on our hearts that we really needed to be able to provide a good car for her so that she could continue to parent her kids like she needed to,” Shannon told

The video was posted on the university’s Facebook page earlier this month. It’s gotten over 7.5 million views and has been shared over 133,000 times.

“It still brings tears to my eyes to know that young people who are trying to start their life actually care enough about me and my children,” said McCutcheon.


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