Mom on Brink of Eviction Raised $200K. Now, a Twist

Dasha Kelly admits she's not biological mom of 3 girls shown with her
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2021 12:16 PM CDT
Updated Aug 14, 2021 6:30 AM CDT
Mom on Brink of Eviction Raised $200K. Now, a Twist
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/No-Mad)

A Nevada mom with three young girls touched people around the nation after CNN profiled her plight about being on the verge of eviction—so much so that a GoFundMe she set up raised nearly $200,000 as of Wednesday. There's now been somewhat of a twist in Dasha Kelly's story, however: She's not the mom, but the girlfriend of the girls' father. The Washington Post reports Shadia Hilo reached out to CNN after the segment aired, providing birth certificates proving she was the girls' biological mother. Per an update from CNN, Kelly has now "clarified ... 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." The outlet notes the children are also taken care of by Hilo and by their father (and Kelly's boyfriend), David Allison, whom Kelly doesn't live with.

So why did Kelly portray herself, both on CNN and on her GoFundMe, as the girls' mother? In a Monday GoFundMe update, she notes that "the girls recognize me as a mother figure in their lives, but I am not their biological mother." CNN reports the same reasoning, saying Kelly told them "she considers herself to be like [a mother]" to the girls. "I take care of these girls in my home for periods of time, and have for the last couple years," Kelly writes. "I've loved these girls unconditionally, and have been out of the kindness of my heart. I treat them as my daughters, and care for them in this way." Nick Watt, the CNN reporter who did the original segment on Kelly, says the girls called Kelly "Mom" and that nothing seemed to be amiss. GoFundMe has frozen the money meant for Kelly, but she may still end up getting a good portion of it: A rep says donors will have two weeks to ask for the cash back; after that, GoFundMe will release the remainder to Kelly. (Read more GoFundMe stories.)

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