Virginia Beach church, local nonprofit surprises two single moms with cars for Christmas

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Relevant Church and The Restored Woman nonprofit organization in Virginia Beach surprised two single moms this Christmas with new cars!

The timing couldn’t have been better since both women are dealing with big life changes because of the coronavirus.

Ashley Wilkerson worked in healthcare for nearly a decade. She recently left her job after her three-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19 in September.

“I was just at my breaking point like, I was just getting ready to break down mentally. So, I said I have to do something. I had to step out of faith and just go.”

Faith is the only thing that kept Daja Mayo going this year.

Mayo was laid off from her job in March because of the pandemic. Then gave birth to her son, Kaiden, early in April.

While Kaiden was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she had to rent cars to see him every day.

“Literally, since March of this year I’ve been renting a car.”

Both women were nominated for the Twelve 18: Love Truly initiative by family and members of Relevant Church.

The Twelve: 18 campaign was created by Co-Pastor and founder of The Restored Woman nonprofit organization Ginger Simpson as a way to honor her mom, Beverly Helton.

Helton passed away on December 18, 2019.

Simpson said she was once a single mom and had her own struggles during that time.

“I’ve lost my car, it was repossessed, my house was foreclosed on and my mom was very instrumental in giving to me to help me through.”

She says God put it on her heart to help single moms this holiday season.

“He was like ‘you be the hands, heart, and feet of Jesus and you give back in honor of your mom.'”

Pastor J.L. Simpson, her husband, said the congregation loved idea and helped make it happen.

“They all got on board and said they want to donate to these two cars.”

Last Sunday during church, Wilkerson was surprised with a Mitsubishi Galant. Mayo received a Nissan Quest.

“I’m so excited. I’m happy. It’s like a big relief,” said Mayo. “The best Christmas gift, actually.”

Another mom of seven, diagnosed with stage four cancer, received over $2,500 in gifts.

In total, nine moms received gift cards, toys, and meals.

Donations for next year’s campaign are already coming in and Simpson says the campaign next year will be even bigger.

“We always say that giving is contagious. Joy is contagious and we’re just here to be a light.”

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