As parents, we do what we have to do to take care of our families. Sometimes that means doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Single mom to three children, Shaina Bell was arrested and charged with two counts of child endangerment after it was discovered she had left two of her children, ages 10 and 2, in a hotel room to go complete her shift at Little Caesar's Pizza. Her third child was not involved.
An anonymous tip said the two girls were alone in the motel. When the police arrived on the scene, the 10-year-old stated her mother went to work and would be back by 10 o'clock that night.
The girls were handed over to their father to take care of them while the police pursued Bell.
When the police confronted her at her place of work, she said she usually had someone check in on the girls every hour while she was working, though she had been unable to find someone to do so that evening.
She was taken into custody, where she was charged with two counts of child endangerment. Bell plead "not guilty" to the charges and was released the next morning.
Since then, a woman named Danielle Hosey, who identified herself as Bell's mother, started a GoFundMe campaign to help Bell get back on her feet financially and provide a steady home for her children.
"Shaina is a single mother of three young children. She works hard and she loves her family very much."
"On Thursday February 11, 2021 Shaina was arrested at her job and taken to jail for leaving two of her children (ages 10 and 2) alone in their hotel room while she went to work."
"She was released the next day but found herself in the need of immediate housing."
"This campaign was created to help Shaina and her children raise the money they need in order to secure permanent and safe housing."
"Everything raised will go directly to establishing a safe and permanent home for Shaina, Faith, Jai'Sean and Jade."
The goal of the GoFundMe campaign was to raise Bell's family a starting savings of $5,000.
But the internet has raised much more than that.
There was an outpouring of love in the GoFundMe's comment section.
But in addition to all the support the Bell family received from their community, they also received support from an NBA player and a hip-hop executive.
JaVale McGee, an NBA basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, donated $5,000.
The Co-founder of the Quality Control Music Label, Pierre "Pee" Thomas, donated $10,000 to Shaina Bell and her family.
"Someone get me this young lady's info."
"My mom used to have to do the same thing when we were young, not cause of abandonment issues, but because people can't afford child care working at a pizza shop."
"She wasn't hanging out at a club. She was at work."
Folks following the story on Twitter had a lot to say about it, as well.
Some said they had to start babysitting young, too, to help their parents take care of the family.
I started babysitting my siblings when I was 8, and in the neighborhood when I turned 10. This story infuriates me.… https://t.co/J0PdRCMjNm— MommaFinch64 (@MommaFinch64)1613582990.0
@MFinch64 Me too! I was taking care of kids when I was 8. Babys! This is ridiculous— Michele Kennedy (@Michele Kennedy)1613684130.0
@SaycheeseDGTL @BooRadleyHere When I was 10 I watched my 8, 6 and 3 month old siblings on a daily basis while my pa… https://t.co/FDU8Gh6gqi— Vic Laszlo (@Vic Laszlo)1613410707.0
@SaycheeseDGTL As a poor, divorced mom in NY. I HAD to do this whilst I worked 3 jobs. I had my son’s meals prepare… https://t.co/KVSwUHJwHN— PT (@PT)1613364048.0
There were some who were critical.
@MFinch64 She still broke the law and put her children’s lives at risk. She will be a better mother for her childre… https://t.co/SJGFLKM5oy— Cassandra (@Cassandra)1613652665.0
@SaycheeseDGTL It’s against the law to leave kids that young alone. You can’t change laws because we feel sorry fo… https://t.co/dlvh8uVbt4— D Scott (@D Scott)1613350618.0
Others encouraged a change to the system and more support for families.
@SaycheeseDGTL She needs help, not jail time. How about arresting more of the people who tried to overthrow the gov… https://t.co/8WZaV73K2M— lizwonders (@lizwonders)1613386798.0
@SaycheeseDGTL Disgusting post. Imagine how desperate a situation has to be to do this.— Jason Kander (@Jason Kander)1613356562.0
@SaycheeseDGTL I feel bad for her. She’s not alone. The oldest was 10. My daughter had a lot of common sense and so… https://t.co/Oq3t74jfwZ— Sheilanne ✌❤🌻 (@Sheilanne ✌❤🌻)1613364310.0
@SaycheeseDGTL Imagine having to choose between staying home and watching your kids starve or going to work so they… https://t.co/pW8osRo31w— 🐾CatWoman (@🐾CatWoman)1613325498.0
@SaycheeseDGTL This is sad....this is a flaw in the system....this isn't a flaw in parenting. She is forced to do t… https://t.co/cTq9ckyqwF— Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis created most of you. (@Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis created most of you.)1613318534.0
@SaycheeseDGTL Arresting this mother is NOT the answer. Hurts the children. If you care about the CHILDREN you pay… https://t.co/5b4fatUTHj— Jean Yoon (윤 진 희 or 尹真姬) (@Jean Yoon (윤 진 희 or 尹真姬))1613369851.0
At this time, Shaina Bell is scheduled to reappear in court for a hearing in April, but many people supporting her are hoping that either won't have to happen and she'll receive good news.