Shirley Thomas, a 19-year veteran custodian at Duval County Public Schools, recently joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and AFSCME President Lee Saunders to encourage members of congress to include monetary aid for state and municipal governments in any future coronavirus bailout package.

Shirley shared that, even after 19 years on the job, she “love[s] taking care of the children. I treat them like my own – with care and love,” and that “Every day I am happy knowing that I work to keep our children safe and secure. I make sure that the classrooms, bathrooms, cafeteria and all common spaces are sanitized, so the kids can stay focused on learning and growing.”

After being furloughed because of coronavirus-related cuts, Shirley now worries about how she will continue to support her family of 5, including a brother who recently suffered a stroke and her own diabetic medical needs.

She wants to remind Congress that “When this pandemic hit, I didn’t abandon the kids or the school where they come for a safe place to learn. I hope Congress won’t abandon me or others like me who just want to help get our communities back on their feet.”

Read more about Shirley and how congressional funding for state and local governments can help her and other workers like her here.