“I”ve never asked for any help”: Christmas comes early for mother-of-thirteen as her home is given a charity make-over
Shontell Johnson is an extraordinary young woman. At just 30-years-old, she is the single mother to 13 children.
Raising six of her own children, four of her sister”s and three of a drug addicted neighbour”s, the Dallas native struggles to feed, clothe and comfortably shelter her huge family.
But the young mom, who told Fox 4 News that she has “never really asked for any help” has had her fortunes turned around by some very welcome Christmas charity.
“Never asked for any help”: Shontell Johnson has a lot of love but not much money to share with her 13 kids – only six of whom are her own
A team of volunteers swooped onto Ms Johnson”s modest Oak Cliff home over the weekend, transforming it by painting, refitting its small rooms and kitting the entire house with beds, bedding, utensils, furniture: the basic, everyday needs that most take for granted.
Spreading festive cheer and hoping to deliver a Merry Christmas to the Johnson family, was Margaret James of the Metropolitan Dream Center, who teamed up with local Dallas Councilman Dwaine Caraway when she heard about Ms Johnson”s plight just weeks ago.
Within days, help from around the world – as far away as Germany and Afghanistan – was mobilised, with a local businesses happy to lend their hand, said the station.
A very Merry Christmas! Ms Johnson, left, is overwhelmed, crying on the shoulder of Margaret James, right, who came to her rescue this Holiday season
Christmas gift: Shontell Johnson is overcome with the outpouring of generosity towards her large family
Donations poured in, with a brand new fridge, washer and dryer, beds, furniture, clothing, shoes and even bicycles being given to the needy family.
Councilman Caraway suggested to the news network that the gifts would be life-changing for the family: “Just name it, these kids now know that the world is greater than the surroundings that they grew up in.”
Life had not been easy – four girls shared a bed, other children slept on the floor. Meagre belongings were stored in cardboard boxes and meal times were in sittings on a small kitchen table in the dark garage, according to the news network.
Auspicious beginnings: NFL star Deion Sanders just happened to find himself in the neighbourhood and stopped by to wish the family Merry Christmas
New start: The children return to their new home, complete, for the first time, with enough beds, linen, furniture and even bicycles
“This is Christmas and it’s more than we ever thought,” an overwhelmed Ms Johnson – who burst into tears when she saw her transformed home -told the network.
NFL and MLB legend Deion Sanders even made time to stop by and add his cheer to the beginning of the home”s new chapter.
The news station reports that there are about to be 14 mouths to feed – Ms Johnson”s incarcerated sister is pregnant.
The big-hearted Texan seems unfazed. “It’s love that’s all. I enjoy them. They enjoy me,” she told Fox 4.
Mother of 13 Receives Home Makeover: MyFoxDFW.com