AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A few weeks ago, we told you about a mother who was arrested for leaving her children alone, in an insect-infested home without food. This week we're giving a high five to 13-year-old Shayla Schubert who stepped up when her mother was nowhere to be found.
"I had to go to bed hungry," Shayla said. "I had to make sure they had food in order for them to eat. I had to give them my food because I know that they needed it more than I needed it."
Shayla admits that she's had difficult childhood.
"My mom was out doing drugs, running the streets," Shayla said. "She was acting like a teenager and like she didn't have to do anything, so I just cared for them because I love them so I started to be a big part of their life."
Being the second-oldest child of eight, Shayla's had to make some sacrifices so that her brothers and sisters would be cared for.
"It was cold, we had no heat. The whole house was a mess," she said. "I couldn't do all of it at one time, so it was either me getting them or dealing with the house. I tried to do more, but I couldn't."
Last month, Richmond County Deputies say they found four of Bethany Schubert's kids home alone with piles of dirt, hair, dog feces and clothes everywhere. The only food in the home was three slices of ham, mayonnaise and a bag of sugar.
"They would tell us they'd bring us food back, but it would be like three days later," Shayla said. "We would go a whole week without food."
Bethany Schubert was arrested and charged with deprivation of a minor. Her sister, Vanessa, voluntarily took seven of the kids home with her.
"We got two bunk beds in one room and then we got two more beds in another room and then I've got one of the cribs in my room for the baby, so we are prepared to take all the kids," Vanessa Schubert said.
Just days later, Vanessa says the Georgia Department of Children and Family Services came and took four of the seven children out of the home and placed them in foster care.
"They just came and got them and told them to put their shoes and stuff on," Shayla said. "And the little ones, they didn't know they were going, because he was saying please don't take me, I don't want to go."
Vanessa Schubert said the process is frustrating, but she wants her family back together.
"It makes you angry, it makes you want to give up but you can't because I have to keep fighting for my nieces and nephews," Vanessa Schubert said.
Vanessa said she praises Shayla for taking care of her siblings.
"I could be outside playing, but I choose not to because I'm so worried about them. Right now I'm still worried about them, I really hope we get them back soon," Shayla said.
Now, Vanessa Schubert wants to give Shayla the childhood she's never had.
"She's a good kid. Anything you ask her to do, she'll do it," Vanessa Schubert said. "She isn't a bad kid. She makes good grades and everything. She was put in a bad situation."
Shayla said she and her brothers and sisters are lucky to have an aunt who cares.
"It feels good, because usually people wouldn't want to take in seven kids," Shayla said. "But now that we know she loves us and will be there for us no matter what. It feels good."
The family will appear before a judge next week to find out if the rest of the kids will be moving back home.
The children's sizes are below:
- 3-month-old boy: 6-9 months clothes, size 3 diapers
- 3-year-old girl size: 5 shirts, 6 pants, 9 shoes, 5t pull-ups
- 4-year-old girl size: 5 shirts, 6 pants, 11 shoes
- 5-year-old boy size: 6 shirts, 8 pants, 12 shoes
- 10-year-old boy size: medium shirts, 10-12 pants, 5 shoes
- 13-year-old girl size: medium shirts, 8/10 misses pants, 8.5 shoes
- 14-year-old boy size: medium shirts, 16 pants, 8.5 shoes