Edith Zepeda, is the mother of four who lost three of her young children in a car accident that also left her seriously injured. Her 3 children died of massive injuries after the family’s car was rear-ended the night of July 2. Their father, who was driving the car, escaped with minor injuries, and the oldest son, suffered a broken arm. “I don’t ask God why this happened. I can’t go against God. I can only ask him for his help,” she said. For now, help has come in the form of community support, both financial and emotional. Zepeda said church groups from Long Island and New Jersey visit her Sleepy Hollow apartment to recite verses from the Bible, to sing and to pray. People from all economic backgrounds donated enough money to allow the family to return the children’s bodies to Guatemala, said Mario de Leon, pastor at Iglesia de Dios in Stamford, Conn., where the family worships. “We have seen much love for this family. The people feel their pain,” de Leon said. “To me, a person that donates $5, who has nothing, says a lot.” While many donations came in small bills, the family recently received a large contribution. The family’s hardship touched the heart of billionaire Donald Trump, who handed them a $5,000 check last week. Trump said he read about the accident in the newspapers and felt he had to help.
“What an unbelievable tragedy,’ Trump said yesterday. “I saw how beautiful a family it was, and to see it wiped out like that in a terrible freak accident really got to me.” Neither Zepeda nor her husband had ever heard of the high-profile developer and star of television’s mega-hit “The Apprentice.” The couple went with their son and a member of the Guatemalan Consulate to Trump’s Manhattan office to receive his donation. He insisted on handing the check to Jilmer, she said. He told us it hurt his soul to see how much we were suffering,” Zepeda said. “It was very emotional for me to receive so much money from someone we don’t know.” “I’m very grateful that he felt in his heart to give to us,” said Ascencio, 32.