WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A text message to the wrong person sparked something no one was expecting.
On May 24, Candice Benbow received a text message for a woman in Winston-Salem saying she needed to answer the phone and pick up her kids. Totally confused by the message, Benbow responded saying she had the wrong number, but the lady didn't believe her.
"So, when I didn't answer I got this text message and she's like, ‘Anthony you need to call me because you said you were going to pick up these kids,’" Benbow said.
The woman thought she was texting the father of her children, but later realized she really did have the wrong number.
"She realized that I was actually telling the truth. She told me that he was supposed to get the kids this past weekend - Memorial Day weekend - and because it was her birthday weekend, so I told her, ‘Well we're going to find Anthony,’" Benbow said.
Anthony, the father of the woman's children, was nowhere to be found so Benbow took it upon herself to search for him on social media, asking her followers to share the message as well.
Unfortunately, the two women later discovered Anthony was in jail and that's why no one could get ahold of him.
"Then we found out that he was arrested and so that completely thwarted all of her birthday plans," Benbow said.
Benbow says the woman was really upset to know her plans were ruined. Benbow said she has a special place in her heart for single mothers, so she really wanted to make her day special.
"My mom was a single mom, a lot of my friends are single mothers and single moms just have a really soft place in my heart," Benbow said.
That's when Benbow gave her a birthday present. She posted to her social media pages asking her followers to send gifts to the woman so she could enjoy her birthday weekend.
"I started getting all of these notifications from Cash App and from PayPal to the point where it totaled over $3,000. So over $3,200 of people just donating," Benbow said.
Benbow says because of the situation, she's keeping the woman's identity anonymous, but she says she's extremely overwhelmed and thankful for people's generosity.
"She was like, ‘Please tell everybody thank you so much,’ she was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’" Benbow said.
The gifts ranged from a dozen cupcakes by Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes to an offer of free summer camp for her children.
Benbow is originally from Winston-Salem but lives in New Jersey. She's planning to make a trip to Winston-Salem to meet up with the woman. Through this situation, they've built a great relationship.
"She is utilizing the resources in order to take care of what was and just started as a birthday gift now is something much bigger for her, right, to take care of her and her children," Benbow said.