ASHBURN, Va. — A mother of five in Loudoun County posted on Facebook that her family could use a little help around the holidays.
Well, her online community put in work, immediately, stepping up to help.
The pandemic dealt this Loudoun County mom a tough hand. First in March, Shamika Foster lost her job.
"Then I found out I was pregnant with my fifth," Foster said. "I was like, 'Oh, my God, what are we gonna do?'"
Her husband became the sole breadwinner, enough to pay rent and bills, but not much else.
One day, she turned to the Facebook group that had always brought her comfort: The Real Ladies of Loudoun County.
"Someone made a post and they were like, 'what [is] something that you wish you had that you can't afford right now or that you'd like to have right now?'" said Foster. "… so I was like, 'just snacks, snacks for my kids.' Because for us, it can be overwhelming with trying to get the things that they want, we get the things they need. All of a sudden, my inbox just went crazy."
Within days, she had boxes of snacks sitting on her doorstep.
"My favorite snack is Cheez-Its. I love Cheez-Its," said Christianna Nano, Shamika's daughter.
Yup, they got those and even offers to buy her kids' coats.
"It's been so, so wonderful and so overwhelming at the same time, like, I'm so grateful for this community? Because I'd never expected it to even go that far," said Foster.
So, she returned to the group that her family this gift, to pay it forward.
"So I was like, 'let me just go on and post and see if anybody will, like, want their hair braided or whatever.' And, lo and behold, I got a lot of responses. Gosh, probably over 100," Foster added.
"She braids my hair all the time. So, and I always ended up loving it. So I think a lot of people be happy about that, too," Christianna said.
"It gives you like, a purpose, almost like, you feel like you're able to do something for somebody else who may be going through the same thing," Foster said.
A simple post, now the gift that keeps on giving.
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