PHOENIX, April 16 (UPI) -- Shanesha Taylor was arrested in March for leaving her two small children strapped into their car seats in the back of an SUV parked in the Arizona sun with the windows cracked while she went to a job interview because she could not find a babysitter.
The mother’s story and her tearful mugshot have evoked an outpouring of support from people online.
New Jersey woman Amanda Bishop, who’s not acquainted with Taylor, launched an online fundraising campaign in support of Taylor that’s already raised over $100,000.
“There are some of us that feel that Shanesha was in an unfortunate situation that sadly an economy like ours is putting many single mothers in a position to make terrible mistakes like this,” says the site.
“That convinced me she wasn’t a bad mom, she just made a terrible mistake,” she said.
Other parents have not only donated their money but expressed their sympathy and support through the site.
"Dear Shanesha, please accept this donation as a sign that you are not alone in this fight," wrote one supporter. "Unfortunately, you had no options at this moment in your life... you are indeed a good mother that was only fighting for a better future for your children."
According to her lawyer, Benjamin Taylor, who is unrelated, Shanesha faces a maximum penalty of more than 8 years in prison.
“This is a single mom who was trying to get a job, and unfortunately she was arrested for trying to get a job,” he said. “She wasn’t going to a liquor store. She wasn’t going to a party. She was going to a job interview.”
“This is a case where you have a single mom who’s doing her best, who’s trying to survive out here in the world,” he added, noting that this is Taylor’s first criminal offense.
At a press conference she was unable to attend, Taylor’s lawyer read a letter from the mother: "The love, compassion and support of those of you around the world are nothing less than phenomenal. I read all of your cards, emails and letters. They keep my spirits up. And your prayers brighten my darkest days. I read a message the other day that reminded me … it takes a village to raise a child. Thank you all for being my village."