SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Ahead of Mother's Day, the Big Y Surprise Squad is celebrating moms this week, highlighting the work of a single mom from Springfield, who's making a lasting impression on other moms in the community.
Shalonda Mabry is a single mom raising two boys, working full time, and in school to get her Master's in social work.
"I dont know how she does it, but," Shalonda's co-worker Charisse Davis-Diaz tells us. "She does it. I'm so proud of her."
Juggling it all while making a huge difference in the community through her work at Square One.
"Just to watch her work," continued Davis-Diaz. "She's the type of person who never says no. No matter what, she's got your back. She deserves this."
That's why her co-worker, Charisse Davis-Diaz, nominated her for the Big Y Surprise Squad, getting everyone positively impacted by Shalonda together for the surprise of a lifetime.
"Oh my God!" exclaimed Shalonda. "This is so good, well played..I got a ugly cry, stop it!"
Shalonda is the mother of two beautiful kids, Andrew and Ayden.
I try the best that I can to raise these boys," says Shalonda. "As a single parent, we have our trials and tribulations."
Shalonda tells Western Mass News those tribulations pay off with her work at Square One, which, to her, is a second home.
Obviously, the best way to celebrate Mother's Day is by relaxing.
Shalonda works hard and has two boys, so the Big Y Surprise Squad wanted to give her a night at MGM Springfield, complete with a 50-minute massage, a mini-getaway for a mom who can't remember the last time she had alone time.
"Well," said Shalonda. "Last week don't count, because I was in training."
The surprises don't end there.
For months, Shalonda's had to borrow her cousin's computer to do her homework.
After hearing Shalonda needed a new laptop, the Surprise Squad stepped in, surprising her with a $500 gift crad to Best Buy.
"I really appreciate it, and," stated Shalonda. "I'm going to get me a computer."
"It's the things that," Shalonda's sister-in-law, Lakayla Harris, tells us. "She does every day that she doesn't get recognition for, which you're not supposed to, right? You're a mother, so this is great. I want her to know we love her, and we recognize the work she does at home and in the community."
"I've been with her since," stated one of Shalonda's clients. "My son was in my belly seven years ago. She's helped me with everything, from homeless shelter to getting an apartment to school. She's helped motivate us a lot. She's been through everything with us, every emotional situation."
"These are my babies, my sisters," said Shalonda. "They help keep me motivated and keep doing the work I do."
"She does shine bright for eveyrone," stated Shalonda's co-worker, Charisse. "Everyone she talks to, everyone she's involved with, she tries to motivate them. She's had a lot of participants she's helped, the community she's helped. That's her middle name, 'Shalonda Help'."
"I always say," added Shalonda. "What's my purpose?', and I think my purpose is being unique, patient and kind."
Happy Mother's Day from the Big Y Surprise Squad!