A Memphis mother of eleven children says claims that she lied about losing her job days before Christmas are false.
This week, the story of #JessicaSumlin went viral online, in which Sumlin detailed how she lost her job of 12 years at Taco Bell just days before Christmas. Sumlin began asking for donations to support her family during the holiday, and as a last resort, she called a local news station to share her story. The story ended up gaining the attention of multiple news outlets, detailing her struggles, including an impending eviction.
“I’m just doing what I can for me and my kids, but right now, my bills have overwhelmed me,” she said. “Right now, I’m in a bad situation because my lights,” she said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they go off now, because my light bill is due today the cut-off notice due today. My rent man constantly calling and texting me saying that I’m past due I rent.”
But people began speculating that Sumlin’s story might be untrue. Some claimed her GoFundMe was a part of the “lies,” and that she actually only has two children. Critics added that Sumlin’s GoFundMe account was allegedly created in June after her boyfriend, who has nine children, asked her to make it. “So the woman with the 11 kids, actually lied about a lot. She does not have 11 kids, she was fired from her job for stealing, (not for a high-risk pregnancy) and the boyfriend made her start the GoFundMe and lie,” one person wrote online.
As a result, Fox 13 Memphis reached back out to Sumlin, who, in turn, denied all the allegations made against her. To support her story, she even showed the media a W2 for Taco Bell. “A lot of people got a lot of negative things to say, but where was people when I was in the dark when me and my kids was walking back to appointments when I was in school,” she said. Sumlin provided Fox 13 with check stubs from the seasonal job, which was dated from November and December of last year, confirming that she did, in fact, work there. Fox 13 also contacted Taco Bell; however, the business said that they could not comment on whether or not she worked there. But Fox was also able to produce evidence that Sumlin was actually late on rent, owing $1,900.
While there were some discrepancies regarding information from her story and the information provided on GoFundMe, Sumlin said she just “didn’t know how to update it.” “I didn’t have a PayPal and cash app, I went online and tried to do one, they was telling me that I needed a credit card to even receive the money so a lot of people was like it’s not letting us send you the money so I figured I have an old GoFundMe page because people must had started looking me up because I had seen I had it started at $200 in donations,” she explained
Even though people use GoFundMe to scam, let’s try to make sure we don’t take falsely incriminate those who truly need help.