There is strength in the community!
A village of supporters came together to donate more than $160,000 to an Ohio mom arrested for leaving children in a motel room while she worked, The Root reports.
24-year-old Shaina Bell is a mother of three who was recently arrested and charged with child endangerment after leaving two of her children alone in a motel room while she went to work her job at Little Caesars Pizza. Bell says she usually has someone check on her children whenever she needs to leave them, but this time, that didn’t happen.
“My daughter decided that she wanted to stay here. My daughter told me that this is where she wants to be, and I felt that she was old enough to be able to stay here with her sister for a few hours because my job is right down the street,” Bell said.
The young mother was released from police custody the next day, but the children were turned over to their father. Bell said she is still in shock that this is all happening.
“My kids bring me joy. They make me laugh. They’re my world. I would never do anything to harm my kids. My kids are everything to me. That’s all I do is go to work and take care of my kids. That’s all I do,” said Bell.
Moved by her story, one that is familiar to so many living in a capitalist society, many decided to show their support for Bell by donating money to find permanent housing and with her children moving forward. The GoFundMe page, created by Bell’s mother, had an initial goal of $5,000. Since it has gone up, the account has raised more than $160,000 in donations for Bell’s cause.
Quality Control music label CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas was one of the first to donate a large sum of $10,000, taking to social media to share how he could relate to Bell’s story.
“My mom used to have to do the same thing when we were young, not cause of abandonment issues; it’s because people can’t afford child care working at a pizza shop. She wasn’t hanging out at a club. She was at work,” Thomas said.
NBA player Javale Mcgee also donated $5,000, and Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego tweeted about the injustice of Bell’s arrest.
“Women are damned if they do or damned if they don’t. Stay at home with your kids and receive government assistance and you are a leach, go to work for poverty wages and can’t get consistent sitters and go to jail,” Congressman Gallego said.
Bell’s situation sparked intense discussions across social media, but the young mom said she’s just focused on her children and is thankful to everyone supporting her.
“I never set blame on anybody for anything because, at the end of the day, nobody left my kids in the hotel but me. I’ve cried a couple of times since this situation started. I’m just trying to keep a level head and trying to stay strong because that’s all I can do. A lot of people are saying hurtful things, but a lot of people are also being there for me and showing great support. I have over $100,000 in a GoFundMe account right now. I didn’t ask for that, but people gave it to me, and I’m just over appreciative to what’s going on,” said Bell.
We wish you all the best, Shaina!
Photo Courtesy of WKBN 27