CNN recently raised thousands of dollars online to help a mom of three young children who was facing eviction amid the federal eviction moratorium. After an interview with the North Las Vegas woman last week, it turns out she wasn’t the mother after all.
During Dasha Kelly’s interview with reporter Nick Watt, she claimed to be the mother of three young girls. Watt explained that the woman lost her job because of the coronavirus pandemic and can no longer afford child care. Her “little girls” were also featured during CNN’s segment
Kelly reportedly created a GoFundMe campaign to raise $2,000 to prevent an eviction. She was able to raise more than $220,000.
“Dasha Kelly has started a GoFundMe page to try and cover that rent, $2,000. It’s a Hail Mary, she says she’s praying for a miracle, hoping for a miracle,” Watt told CNN viewers.
“My name is Kelly and I have 3 daughters living in Nevada,” Kelly wrote in the description of the GoFundMe. “We were maintaining just fine before this pandemic hit. Now we are suffering. We do have EBT for food, and also applied for Chap. However, they do not assist immediately. We owe $1,900 for rent alone not including utilities. I will figure out utilities by pawning a few things. As you all know it is entirely still to hot to be homeless. My daughter’s [sic] are aged 5, 6, and 8. Please help with anything you can.”
As the donations poured in, it was revealed that Kelly is not the mother of the three kids she claims she cares for.
“She says she originally described herself to CNN as a mother because she considers herself to be like one to them,” the news outlet said.
The children are reportedly cared for by their mother, Shadia Hilo, and their father, David Allison, who is Kelly’s boyfriend. The couple allegedly intends to send the kids back to their mother before the start of the school year.
“Update: After CNN aired a story about her potential eviction, Dasha Kelly clarified to CNN that she is not the mother of the three children featured in the story. CNN has verified she takes care of the children in her home for periods of time. She says she originally described herself to CNN as a mother because she considers herself to be like one to them,” a correction added to CNN’s online report said.
The online version of Kelly’s interview has been updated with a disclaimer, “After CNN aired a story about her potential eviction, Dasha Kelly clarified to CNN that she is not the mother of the three children featured in the story.”
CNN’s online story was initially headlined, “More than $170,000 raised in 24 hours for mother and three kids facing eviction.” It was changed to “More than $170,000 raised in 24 hours for Las Vegas woman facing eviction.”
GoFundMe has reportedly placed the funds on hold, and nothing has been withdrawn.
“Our Trust & Safety team has spoken with the organizer and required that an update be publicly posted on the fundraiser to provide more information to donors,” according to the company. “In addition, GoFundMe has proactively notified all donors with directions on how to request a full refund. After (Aug. 23), GoFundMe will release the funds, minus any refunds.”
Kelly said GoFundMe will issue a full refund for any donor upon request through Aug. 23.
She also said the controversy doesn’t change her “need for donations to avoid eviction, and I will be using the funds to get back on my feet and support my family.”
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