Eddie Vedder Leads Others in Helping Family in Need on Christmas
Thanks to Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and hundreds of other strangers, Tyshika Britten and her family had a Christmas they’ll never forget, a miracle of sorts when Britten once thought the family wouldn’t be able to celebrate Christmas at all.
Britten, a 36-year old mother of six from Maryland could barely afford to pay her rent, much less buy Christmas presents for each of her six kids. She became so desperate to give her kids a nice Christmas that she posted a letter on Craigslist, asking anyone reading it to help her.
“I am a mother of six, 5 boys and 1 baby girl,” she wrote. “I’m so hurt. I’m trying my best. I pray every day 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 Washington Post was told about the Craigslist post and published Britten’s story. Soon, a GoFundMe page was set up, as dozens of people stepped forward to contribute a few dollars here and there.
Then came Vedder, who donated $10,000. “I was just so moved by the story and what this mother did for her children,” the Pearl Jam singer said. “I thought those kids must be so proud of their mother for reaching out. That takes a lot of courage.”
Vedder became one of 323 people who made a contribution to the GoFundMe page, and when all was said and done, more than $18,000 was donated to Britten and her family.
Britten calls the money “a head start,” as she was not only able to afford Christmas presents for her kids, but she will also be able to pay her rent for the next year or more, avoiding eviction.
She stands by her decision to write her heartfelt message on Craigslist despite taking some backlash from people who believe she embarrassed herself and her family.
“I’m not exposing my family. I’m exposing how a lot of people have to live. There are people all over this country who have the same problems we have,” Britten says. “I love my children and I will take care of them, and I will get them what they need, any way I can. This year, they got everything they wanted.”