Non-profit offers safe, free space for children of working parents to stay during the day
Posted December 11, 2020 4:32 p.m. EST
Updated December 11, 2020 6:35 p.m. EST
Tarboro, N.C. — Not all parents have the option to work remotely – meaning many working parents can't be home with children to help them with virtual classes.
This very struggle is why one Edgecombe County mom decided to create a safe space for children to study and learn – and it doesn't cost mom, dad or grandma a penny.
Michael's Angels is a non-profit working to make life easier for parents and better for children.
"Edgecombe County is very rural and in a lot of areas it's poverty stricken," said Crystal DeLoatch, the director of operations at Michael's Angels.
During the pandemic, the non-profit began operating as a virtual learning center. Now, there are 28 children who do their virtual learning here during the day – many of whom have parents that serve as essential workers, who can't be home with them.
"We have a lot of parents that work in the medical field. We have a lot of parents that work in grocery stores and things of that nature," said DeLoatch.
The center helps protect the children by ensuring social distancing, plexiglass barriers, masks and hand sanitizer.
"It saddened me to see that there was such an educational gap and just an opportunity gap as a whole in our area," said Shanell Knight, who started Michael's Angels in 2016.
She named it after her son - who was stillborn in 2011 - and in honor of two more babies she miscarried.
"Everything that I would have poured into their lives - I am just pouring into the lives of these children," said Knight.
She credits her love for the organization as the driving force behind the program's success.
Despite their growth, Michael's Angels does have room for more children – because they see how much the community needs their services.