'Craigslist mom' talks about donations and criticism for posting kids online
Sat, 26 Apr 2014 03:39:36 GMT —
They moved to the Rio Grande Valley one week ago with just 2 bags and 10 dollars to their name.
But July Garza says it wasn't always that way.
"I didn't have to work," she told Action 4's Ryan Wolf. "He [Emiliano] was the only one working. He would make enough money to get us by. The girls had everything they needed. Everything was good."
That is until a car wreck in Houston.
Her common-law husband Emiliano Escamilla totaled their only car and lost his mechanic's job as a result.
July says they had no choice but to move into her grandma's apartment in Mission.
"I was sitting there looking at them thinking I never had to feel this way," she said about her kids. "For them to feel like they didn't have anything."
She turned to the website Craigslist for help on Monday.
A post titled "family in need," which included photos of her 3 children ages 10 months to 4 years old, briefly described how they hit rock bottom and asked for any help with baby related donations.
"I never had to ask anyone to help me to give them the things they needed," July said while crying. "He [Emiliano] was always able to do it by himself."
Emiliano gets choked up talking about the decision to go online for help.
"Never in my life, now that I have kids, would I think that I would go through this to put my kids on Craigslist or Facebook or news or anything like this," he said.
After the initial posting on Craigslist, July says the family only received two donations.
It wasn't until the plea for help was reposted on Facebook that the public got involved.
July points out some of the donations that have been piled on her couch.
They include everything from baby clothes, diapers, wipes and toys to a stroller, even a car seat.
But people didn't just give to the family.
"A lot of people have come by, they sat with us, they took the time to meet us," July explained. "They took the time to play with our kids to see who we really are."
She holds one note sent to her from a family in Fort Worth.
"You are in our prayers," she reads.
The heart-felt message stands out most to her.
There are more than 2,500 hundred comments as of Friday afternoon on the repost to Ryan Wolf's Facebook page.
They're not all in support of the family.
Some called the plea for help a scam.
They question why she's having a fourth child due in May when she can't support the current three.
Others point out the couple's checkered past with the law.
Both served jail time.
July admits she spent 4 days behind bars recently for theft.
The charge stemmed from a case when she was 18, according to her.
She got picked up on a warrant in Houston after a traffic related stop and opted to spend time in jail because she couldn't afford bail.
Emiliano says he served 4 years in prison for assault.
He's been a free man for the last few years
"When you do go online and you read the negative comments, the people who say you're shaming your children, that you're an unfit mother, that you should stop having kids all together if you can't afford them... What do you say?"
"I could afford them before all this happened," July said. "If I was a bad mother I would let them go without. I would sit there and let them suffer and not have anything."
Emiliano gets upset seeing July upset.
"They're judging the bad side," he said. "Or I guess they don't know the full story."
For now, they try and focus on the positive.
The family counts their blessings.
They look forward to a fresh start
"To me what matters are the good people," July says.
She has already met with several social service agencies, according to July.
Emiliano says people who've stopped by with donations have told him about a few job openings.
He TMs hoping his injured back will allow him to start making money for the family soon.
They plan to live in the Valley.