More than $100,000 has been pledged to help Shanesha Taylor, 35, a single mother from Arizona who was arrested last month after allegedly leaving her 2-year-old and 6-month-old sons alone in a hot car while she went on a job interview because she was unable to find a babysitter.
Taylor was charged with two counts of child abuse. She has pleaded not guilty and was released on bail posted by a stranger, her lawyer told TODAY.com Wednesday. Her two boys are now in state care. Her tearful mug shot has brought attention to issues facing the nation’s poor and unemployed, especially single mothers.
Amanda Bishop, a New Jersey woman who does not know Taylor, felt compelled to help. She launched an online fundraising campaign in support of Taylor, with pledges now totaling more than $106,000. “There are some of us that feel that Shanesha was in an unfortunate situation that sadly an economy like ours is putting many single mothers in a position to make terrible mistakes like this,” the fundraising site says.
Bishop, 24, told MSNBC’s Tamron Hall that she launched the fundraising campaign after viewing Taylor’s Facebook page and finding nothing but posts and pictures featuring Taylor’s kids. “That convinced me she wasn’t a bad mom, she just made a terrible mistake,” Bishop said.
Though there has been some criticism of the effort, Bishop said that it’s easy for people who have never struggled to judge Taylor harshly. Bishop said she herself was raised by a struggling mother. “Nobody’s saying she’s right for her choice,” Bishop said. “It’s just a matter of what is more wrong here: The fact that she did this or the fact that there are so many people out there put in a position to make this decision or to make risks like this?”
Others agreed, including single mothers who left comments on the fundraising site saying they understood Taylor’s dilemma.
“I understand the struggle, I’ve been there before too. It’s VERY HARD being a single parent and having NO ONE to turn to for support,” wrote Dawn F. Edwards, who donated $25.
“Dear Shanesha, please accept this donation as a sign that you are not alone in this fight,” wrote Lauren Dunne, who donated $5. “Unfortunately, you had no options at this moment in your life… you are indeed a good mother that was only fighting for a better future for your children.” Continue reading