A 26-year-old college student who claims to have been abandoned most of her life turned to Craigslist to “rent a mom and dad” for the holiday season.

Jackie Turner, a junior at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., told CBS News that she was neglected, abused and nearly starved throughout her childhood. She never met her mother and has been on her own for years, but decided that it was time to share the holidays with someone other than herself.

“I am looking to rent a mom and dad who can give me attention and make me feel like the light of their life just for a couple of days because I really need it,” Turner wrote in her Craigslist ad.

The straight-A college student said this time of year is difficult for her, and she was tired of hurting.

“This time of year is hard,” she said. “Everyone is talking about their cousins, their families, all the things that make up Christmas.”

As an incentive, Turner offered $8 per hour for the potential buyer. A number of people have responded to Turner’s ad and were willing to open their home to her.

Turner said she was born to a teen mother who couldn’t raise her, and remembered being beaten and locked in closets as a child while being passed around from home to home growing up.

She told CBS News that people with a similar background reached out to her, many of whom empathized with her difficult upbringing.

“Maybe for like a couple hours—just be like the light of their life for that moment,” she said. “People are hurting and broken and we need each other.”

After hearing several stories similar to her own, as well as receiving responses to the ad offering a home for the holidays, Turner hosted an event at her college to match up the two groups. The family of one of Turner’s classmates opened their doors and hearts to her, allowing Turner to spend the holidays surrounded by love.

Blair Adams

AFRO Staff Writer