A mother of three from Buffalo, New York, didn’t envision raising three more children this year, but she was the first to volunteer to take in three toddlers after their mom was killed at a street party in September.
On Oct. 13, Lashelle Roberson walked into the doors of Basil Family Dealership to buy a car that could accommodate her growing family. When she returned on Friday, community members partnered with the local car dealership to surprise her with a 2016 Dodge Caravan and plenty of gifts for the kids, according to Spectrum News.
In September, Roberson assumed guardianship of a set of 2-year-old twins and a 1-year-old baby girl after Rayshionna Johnson, 23, was one of four people shot during a block party, WKBW Buffalo reports. Johnson later died from her injuries, but her friend Roberson promised to take care of the 23-year-old’s small children.
“Rayshionna asked me to take her kids and that’s what I intend to do,” Johnson said.
While working with the Buffalo F.A.T.H.E.R.S group, the Basil family said they were made aware of Roberson’s courageous act and her transportation limitations, 13WMAZ in Georgia reports. The Basils said philanthropy is a family hallmark and they were gracious to work with the community to assist the mom.
“We’re excited to help her out," John Basil said. "Giving back to the community is what our dad instilled in us!”
According to Spectrum News, a local police department fitted the minivan with four car seats, while others donated tablets, clothes and other items for the children.
In a video captured of the surprise event, Roberson was at a loss for words in expressing her gratitude to the parties that made it all possible.
“Oh, my God, thank you,” she said, fighting back tears.
Lashelle Roberson took in three orphaned children after their mother's tragic death last month. Roberson has three children of her own and is struggling to find a vehicle to fit her newly expanded family. @specnewsbuffalo
— Fadia Mayté Patterson M.S. (@FadiaTVNews) October 16, 2020
Basil dealership employees clamored around the woman in celebration with some indicating to 13WMAZ that seeing her joyous moment made their contributions worth it.
"We really commend the fact that you've, you're adopting the three children, the toddlers, and we know it's a major, major responsibility for you going forward," Basil said at the ceremony.
Before being gifted with the spacious vehicle, Roberson said she was having trouble figuring out how to transport all of the children.
"I'd have to call my friends and say 'okay you take this one, I'll take these two,' she said.
The now mother of six said she’s so pleased to be able to take the children out for a meal in one car. At some point in the future, Roberson said she'd like to adopt the children, People Magazine reports.
If you would like to help support the Roberson family, each of the Basil dealership locations is accepting donations for the family. They are in need of size 2T clothes for a twin boy and girl and clothing for a 12-18-month-old. Due to COVID-19 concerns, new clothes and gift cards are encouraged by the family.
If you have any questions on how you can donate or support the Roberson family, please contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.