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Carjacking victim whose vehicle was totaled receives gift from local church

Posted at 11:53 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 00:54:38-05

MILWAUKEE — It’s been almost a week since Pamela Watkins was held at gunpoint by a teen who police say stole and later totaled her car.

"I was suffering from a lot of nightmares, lack of sleep, not eating," said Watkins.

On Sunday, she decided to find solace at New Restoration Christian Church where she’s been a member for nearly 10 years.

"We really hurt, because she’s like a daughter," said Senior Pastor Wesley Carter.

Watkins’ church community decided to surprise her with the biggest blessing of all.

"The Sunday that she did come, we decided to do an offering, a love offering, for her. It just went above and beyond," said First Lady Alicia Carter.

The church raised nearly $3,000 for Watkins to help her in a number of ways, including paying attorney fees and putting a down payment on a new car. The new car is important because she needs it in order to help take care of her mother who she says suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder.

"I was full of tears, I kept crying. I needed that truck so that she can maneuver and get in there to go to appointments. So when he took that from me, I didn’t know what I was going to do," said Watkins.

The 17-year-old charged in the carjacking faces eight felonies, and could potentially spend more than 100 years behind bars. An outcome that’s left Watkins with bittersweet feelings.

"It’s a very sad situation, because we are seeing kids going into the adult system, but I also want accountability, because it’s still not okay to do that," she said.

Pastor Wesley Carter of New Restoration Christian Church says the church sits on about 17 acres of land, and they're looking for partners to help build a state-of-the-art youth center to provide after school mentorship, crime prevention, and apprenticeship programs. Carter says his hope is to also host a number of activities that will keep the youth off of the streets and provide a safe haven all at the same time. He says Milwaukee Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson would support the facility if someone made the investment.

For more information on the church, click here.

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