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Spotlighting essential workers: Friend launches fundraiser for single mother

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jul 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-26 22:21:37-04

A longtime friend of an essential worker and single mother launched an online fundraiser to help her purchase a reliable vehicle to get to work.

Neftalie Valencia works as a senior pharmacy technician, assisting those recently diagnosed with HIV.

“My patients are wonderful people - I love what I do,” she told ABC15. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, she has never missed a single day at work. “It has just been humbling to work in this field with these patients, where it’s incredible love,” she said. Aside from her job, Valencia carves out several hours each week for an activity with her children and helps them with their schoolwork throughout the day. Sometimes that means “going through [their] homework on my breaks,” she said.

Still, amid this pandemic, setting money aside for something like a vehicle can be a challenge. Valencia said her car, a 2-door sedan, has broken down several times and even left her stranded on the way to work. When friend Michelle Thomas heard about the situation, she quickly launched a GoFundMe page.

“When she told me about her vehicle… ‘Oh my goodness, we have to do something to help you to keep you going,” Thomas told ABC15. “Having a reliable vehicle…. people take that for granted, you know, but there are some people out there — they’re struggling to get transportation.”

Thomas just recently launched the fundraiser a few days ago. She said it’s a way to give to a woman who, she said, goes “above and beyond” for all those around her.

“She definitely gives her all in everything she does.”

If you’d like to contribute to the fundraiser, visit: