Please help Zariah care for her 7 siblings

My name is Teresa and I am raising money on behalf of my little cousin, Zariah, who calls me Auntie Teresa due to the age difference. I met my cousin eight years ago when she moved back to New York with her mother and seven siblings. Zariah is the second eldest of nine children. She and her siblings have spent most of their lives in and out of the foster care system because of their mother's drug addiction and mental illness for most of their lives. The children's fathers, some are incarcerated, drug users, absent or unknown. When they moved back to New York, the children were placed in the care of their grandmother. I became Zariah's legal guardian, and she lived with me since 2016. Although not living with her siblings, Zariah remained in close contact with them and visited often.

I had the privilege of watching Zariah blossom into the young lady she is today. Zariah is a beautiful person, inside and out, responsible and accountable. She has goals and dreams, hopes and aspirations. She is self-motivated, determined, disciplined, and accomplishes every goal that she sets out to achieve. Most importantly, Zariah is loyal, has great values, and is a phenomenal big sister, who loves her siblings dearly.

Having been accepted to several top-tier colleges, Zariah attended school locally during her first year while launching her new business. Zariah is an entrepreneur, an artist, and a hustler at heart.

In December 2020, Zariah's grandmother passed away from cancer. Zariah's family unraveled, as her grandmother was the glue that kept the children together. Zariah's mother lost custody and visitation of all the children because of her excessive drug use, neglect, and harm that she exposed the children to daily. The children were in jeopardy of being separated and returning to the foster care system. They lost their grandmother, mother, and were fearful of losing each other again.

Zariah courageously filed for custody of her seven siblings ages 18 to 4 and was recently granted custody. This is an enormous responsibility and a huge financial burden. However, I am confident she can and will handle this responsibility. She is not alone, as I will be by her side every step of the way. While this responsibility has been a temporary setback for Zariah, I have no doubt that when she and her siblings are settled and a routine established, she will be able to achieve all her goals and aspirations.

Zariah and her seven siblings are temporarily residing in my home. They are currently homeless because they cannot return to the dangerous conditions they were subjected to.  

This fundraiser was created to provide Zariah and her seven siblings with the financial means to acquire a 3-4 bedroom home in a decent neighborhood ASAP, furniture, a car to transport the children, clothes, basic essential needs, toys, and laptops for remote learning.

The money allocated to them through public assistance is an unrealistic amount for a family of eight to live and survive on.

The children have suffered much and their childhood robbed from them. Please help in giving them the stability, happiness, safety, and peace they deserve.

Thank you!
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Organizer

Teresa Bailey
Organizer
New York, NY

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