A group of Northern Virginia moms is coming together to help a family struck by tragedy.
On Sunday, 45-year-old Wayne Beale died unexpectedly in Fredericksburg home he'd shared with his wife, Joni, and their six children: three sets of twins.
Wayne Beale worked in construction and was the sole provider for the family. Joni Beale homeschools their kids and now is left facing a financial hurdle.
But help is pouring in from around the world in the form of donations made to a GoFundMe page, which was set up by a group of moms who met Joni through a mother of preschoolers group.
"Well, it was actually something that Kelly [Battles] and I talked about together; just what could we do?" said Heather Ablondi. They struggled to answer that question when it came to their friend Joni.
"[Wayne] had a heart condition that prevented them from getting life insurance," said Battles. "So they don't have life insurance, and with six children, it's going to be very tough...."
"Going forward, she needs to be able to pay her mortgage payment, her electric bill [and] buy groceries for her kids," Ablondi said.
As the Free-Lance Star first reported, the moms started the GoFundMe page and hours later the generosity flowed in.
"It surprises me a little bit how quickly it poured in," Ablondi said. "In less than 24 hours, we had hit $10,000. I think people just want to be there for her."
Joy Moeller's been in touch with Joni as she plans her husband's funeral.
"She just can't believe it," Moeller said of Joni. "[She's asking] where is all this coming from? Who are all these people? She said there are people who have given, [she doesn't] even know who they are."
The GoFundMe explains:
[Joni Beale's] most immediate needs include the funeral expenses which total approximately $6,000, the initial goal for this gofundme campaign. We would love to raise over and above that in order to provide Joni a financial cushion to rely on while she makes plans for this unexpected chapter of her life.
So far, the page has raised more than $16,000.