School trying to help its 'star volunteer'

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Shanita Brown is a single mother of seven children -- three of whom she adopted from her sister.  Now Brown is in danger of losing her home. 

Brown says she lost her job back in 2011 as she went through the process of adopting her sister's three children.  She says finding a new, full-time job with so many kids to care for has been hard.

The bills began to pile up, and now her home is in foreclosure.

"That's the hardest part that I'm dealing with, not knowing what tomorrow may be," Brown said. "If I sit back and be depressed over it, it's not going to help the next day."

One of the things Brown does to stay motivated is volunteering at SP Livingston Elementary School, which four of her kids' attend.  She's also treasurer of the PTA.

The principal of the school described Brown as her "star volunteer and is trying to help.

While there's only so much they can do, they hope that by sharing her story, she can get the help she needs.

"If it weren't for Shanita's involvement in the after-school program, we would not have the kind of parental involvement that we have," said Principal Jennifer Brown.

Brown says the school has only recently learned about Shanita Brown's struggles. They want to help, but they've hit a brick wall. The principal says this family isn't the only one in need.

"Because our school is such a high-poverty or Title I background... we reach out to a lot of different charities and programs to assist our parents," Jennifer Brown said. "And, of course, we're going to seek every possible resource that we can."

In the meantime, Shanita Brown doesn't know how much time she has left in her house or what tomorrow will bring. Her family and her friends at SP Livingston hope she'll soon have the answers she needs and a home she and her children deserve.

"Someone who gives so much to others, we want to give back to her," Jennifer Brown said.

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