Facebook group comes together to support Tecumseh woman

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Terry Shoemaker reached out to the Facebook page, “Real Housewives of Tecumseh,” to gather food and supplies for her employee, a struggling mother trying to transition off federal assistance to independence. The members of the group responded with $500 in food and supplies for the woman and her six-year-old son. Photo submitted.

People often complain about Facebook, but Tecumseh resident Terry Shoemaker has seen its positive side. When one of her employees, a single mother, was struggling to make the transition from federal assistance to independence, Shoemaker wanted to gather Tecumseh residents for support of the woman and her son, and the Facebook page “Real Housewives of Tecumseh” seemed like the perfect place to start.

Real Housewives of Tecumseh is a group on Facebook just for women in Tecumseh. It was started by Rhaea Miller.

“With her job and an increase in pay she was getting cut off from assistance,” Shoemaker said. “To provide for her son, she was considering working only part-time or finding a lower paying job to keep her benefits. I wanted to have her community come around her.”

Shoemaker made this post to the Real Housewives of Tecumseh, “Ladies, I have a single mom with one child desperately trying to get off being dependent on public assistance. A rarity nowadays it seems. The transition is not easy.

“I’d hate to see her spirit broken and end up staying in the clutches of welfare when she is trying so hard to do the right thing. I was thinking that if we could all donate some food to help with the transition off food stamps, which were cut off one month ago, that would be great.

“Yes, there are food banks, but I would honestly like to let her know that her community more than cares that she makes it as a success story. Please let me know if you can donate (please no cash donations, just food) and let’s fill her pantry. I will pick up at your home, of course, and keep our group updated on the progress we are making.”

The Real Housewives of Tecumseh responded enthusiastically supplying not only food, but household products and school supplies as well. “There were about 20 people who actually donated items such as boxed and canned food, fresh produce, meat, school supplies, clothing, paper products, laundry items, health and beauty items and even a bottle of wine and a book of encouraging quotes. I’d say probably another 15 people offered words of encouragement to pass onto her,” Shoemaker said. “I’d guess the value by the end of this will be about $500. I’m still collecting today and tomorrow. This is all people in Tecumseh. They were more than happy to help.”

The mother and son have been overwhelmed by the support of the community. Shoemaker has already made deliveries to them and will be going back with more food and supplies.

“Her son was excited to show me his backpack filled with school supplies and new shoes and all the food collected. He had such a big smile on his face,” said Shoemaker. “These ladies really made a difference for this single mom and her son.

Our community really pulled together in a short amount of time for someone and I am thankful for every one of them.”

Shoemaker’s employee responded to those who helped her with a heartfelt letter.

“Words cannot express how overwhelmed I am with joy from all of the support that I have received within this short amount of time,” she said. “The transition from being dependent on government assistance to being self-reliant hasn’t been the easiest road, but I am trekking through. I will make it! This support means so much to my son and I who are coming from a place where there is never much help available.

“One day I will be in the position to pay it forward and help other women and families who find themselves in my same situation, but don’t know where to turn to keep on track to being self sufficient,” she added. “The tears just won’t stop flowing, tears that were once cried for not knowing where to turn have now been changed into tears of joy because I know I have a community that truly does care about my family!”

Shoemaker is still accepting donations for the mother and son. Call Shoemaker at 517.673.8278.

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