Centenarian Virginia McLaurin may have made our hearts melt when she met President Obama last month during a Black History Month event, but now it’s the 106-year-old’s Washington D.C. community making her smile.
McLaurin, who went viral after dancing joyfully with the president and First Lady Michelle Obama, may appear full of spunk, but friend and neighbor Deborah Menkart told the Huffington Post that it’s a bit difficult for her to climb the stairs to her apartment.
Menkart, who also conducts oral interviews with McLaurin, decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to assist her friend, who she said is set on maintaining her own independence.
“She wants to maintain her independence and be close to her church,” McLaurin’s friend and neighbor Deborah Menkart told ABC News today. “In order for her to stay close to her church and have a place that’s accessible to a person of her age, she needs to raise funds. We’ve been getting an outpouring from people that said they want to help.”
“This donations page was created so that we can all help her have the resources she needs to live comfortably and to continue her active role in the community,” according to the page titled, “Support for Ms. Virginia McLaurin” on YouCaring.com.
And active she is. McLaurin is a volunteer in an early childhood classroom, serving as a foster grandmother, and is also an advocate of the tenants’ rights organization, Latino Economic Development Center.
So far, the community has donated more than $18,000 to the YouCaring fund. Menkart hopes to reach $50,000 for “core necessities like health care” and comfortable, wheelchair accessible housing, she told ABC News.
McLaurin, who remarked that meeting the first Black president during Black History Month was the “joy of her entire life,” has lived through 18 presidents.