A pregnant, single mom in need gets outpouring of financial support on Nextdoor

Bianca Johnson, a single mom six months into a difficult pregnancy with her second child, started the week with no money for a car repair that would cost $1,500. The Atlanta resident is a school teacher in DeKalb County on medical leave for her pregnancy, which means she’s receiving only a portion of her regular pay. Her complicated pregnancy and the pandemic have also prevented her from taking on part-time jobs, which Johnson said she usually does for additional income. On Dec. 7 she created a post on Nextdoor, explaining her circumstances and asking residents if they would provide suggestions on how she could earn the money. Johnson received an unexpected outpouring. She’s received at least $2,000 in cash and gift cards, a used washer and dryer, and a new car seat for the baby daughter due in March. And her vehicle was fixed Wednesday at nearly half the cost, after someone on the site referred Johnson to a less expensive mechanic

Bianca Johnson, a single mom six months into a difficult pregnancy with her second child, started the week with no money for a car repair that would cost $1,500. But by week’s end she had the support of a community of strangers turned friends.

Her car is now fixed through the support of a Buckhead community of neighbors who made cash donations and sent Johnson and her seven-year-old son gifts after seeing posts about her circumstances on Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods.

Johnson’s greatest gift is perhaps a new friend — another single mom who has been through difficult times — who encouraged followers on Nextdoor to help her.

“It’s been tremendous,” an overwhelmed Johnson said, adding that she has separately received help from her fellow congregation members at Buckhead Church.

The Atlanta resident is a school teacher in DeKalb County on medical leave for her pregnancy, which means she’s receiving only a portion of her regular pay. Depression and a fall onto the lobby floor of her former apartment building have complicated her pregnancy, she said.

That and the pandemic have prevented her from taking on part-time jobs, which Johnson said she usually does for additional income.

Johnson’s 2013 Chevy Cruiser failed an emissions test in October and she needed a new catalytic converter before January 2, when her temporary tag is due to expire.

Johnson moved out of Buckhead in September but has stayed connected to her old neighborhood. On Dec. 7 she created a post on Nextdoor, explaining her circumstances and asking residents if they would provide suggestions on how she could earn $1,500 — the cost the dealership quoted to fix her vehicle.

“If you guys have any legit/legal suggestions as to how I can make extra money quickly, please let me know,” she wrote.

Bianca Johnson and her 7-year-old son Brayden are overwhelmed with gratitude for the gifts from their Nextdoor community.  (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Bianca Johnson and her 7-year-old son Brayden are overwhelmed with gratitude for the gifts from their Nextdoor community. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: photographer

Credit: photographer

She received an unexpected outpouring.

From the post, she’s received at least $2,000 in cash and gift cards, a used washer and dryer, and a new car seat for the baby daughter due in March. Someone separately gave Johnson a highchair and another person prayed with her on the phone, she said.

Her vehicle was fixed Wednesday at nearly half the cost, after someone on the site referred Johnson to a less expensive mechanic, she said.

“It’s been crazy, wonderful and encouraging,” Johnson said. “I’m telling people (on Nextdoor), ‘Hey we got the car fixed.’ They were adamant that I have enough for the baby. Someone ordered items from the baby registry.”

Penny Bordeaux, of Sandy Springs had read the post and went into action to help a stranger. Bordeaux created her own Nextdoor post asking the community to help the pregnant teacher with donations and Christmas gifts for Johnson’s son Brayden, 7.

After contacting Johnson, Bordeaux posted a link to Johnson’s Cash App account so people could make donations easily.

“I have a heart for single moms,” Bordeaux said “We struggle. My husband died in 2006. It was really tough.”

Bordeaux works as a decorative artist and said she’s taken on a personal mission to help single mothers whenever she can with cash donations or purchasing something that they’re in need of, especially during the holiday season.

Her late husband was the wrestler known in the ring as Johnny Grunge. After his death, Bordeaux said she was left broke and struggled to care for her two young sons.

“I’ve been homeless and carless,” she said. “That’s why I do what I do. Friends and my church helped me as much as possible. Basically, I’m just paying it forward.”

Johnson believes she’s made lasting friendships with Bordeaux and others this week.

She and Bordeaux met for the first time in person Dec. 9 in the parking lot of The Varsity restaurant.

“I wanted to cry,” Johnson said. “Penny is freaking amazing. She is such an amazing individual. At this point I don’t know what I would do without her.”

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