Being a nanny who cares for children can be a well-paid job for some. However, in Crowley, Louisiana, the word “nanny” has become synonymous with Alma Johnson, the granny who gives her heart and opens her home in an effort to help local parents go to work.
With childcare costs being so high, some local parents would struggle to pay those costs especially when they are on low wages. The United States Census Bureau data, in October 2018, showed that one in five people in Louisiana lived below the poverty level in 2017. The data also revealed that Louisiana’s rate of children in poverty was at 28 percent. Louisiana struggles with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation according to a report by the Associated Press.
The most unique trait of Alma is that she offers a daycare service to any child in her community for free. When CBS This Morning visited her in November 2017, they found her cooking up a feast for the many children in her home. Her home had become an unofficial community daycare for those needing a helping hand. “My house is never empty, never. Seven days a week I always have some kids in,” Alma told CBS.
AFTER THE GAME: Breanna Molloy checks in with the “neighborhood nanny” of the Kathy Apartments in Crowley!
So why does Alma go out of her way to care for the little ones in her community of Crowley without charging a fee? The answer is that it stems from her own memories of a tough childhood and her faith. “I made a promise to the Lord and he gave me the strength to do it,” she explained.
Her apartment at Kathy Apartments is open to children of struggling parents all week. Some parents bring supplies; it seems each day takes care of itself as she always encourages parents to go out, do some work, telling them not to worry about the children as she will watch them and feed them.
Alluding to the condition of daycare facilities in the city, Alma said, “Over here a babysitter a week is $250, $200. They cannot afford it ’cause they got to pay their bills.”
“They’re working people and if they don’t go to work, their kids won’t have a roof over their heads,” she further mentioned.
Every child is welcome in her home. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This grandmother will feed them.And while sometimes the food she provides may run low, by the grace of God, she never runs out.
Unsurprisingly, Alma’s acts of kindness have received praises from those around her. “It’s the most beautiful thing going on around here,” said one neighbor. If a child misses the bus she will drive that child to school, and if a baby has no diapers she will provide them, the Liftable reported.
“She also sets the example for us as parents to go out there and do something. Go to school if you’re at school. Go to work if you need to work. I got the children, don’t worry about them, they’re safe,’” Natalye Goffney, a mother of a couple of boys who couldn’t afford childcare and leaves her kids with Alma, shared.
The local pastor Pastor Warren Milson, who feels sad that children in America today experience such poverty, shared how the community views this kind woman, Alma—who cares and gives back to her community in such a wonderful way. “She’s officially known as the neighborhood nanny,” he said.
“I don’t have a lot, but I have a lot of love and a lot of attention,” Alma told CBS.
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Author: Margery Dunn