One Texas mother went from homelessness to being the hero so many children in her community needed -— providing them with everything from mentorship and love to a hot meal and a place to lay their heads, at her own expense.
So "The View" decided to give back to her. On Tuesday, Letitia Conliffe was surprised on the show with a series of gifts that will help her continue her work at the safe haven for kids she created. The Lil 4’s Club in the town of Sulphur Springs got new appliances, a stocked pantry and $70,000 in cash.
At Lil 4’s, Conliffe takes on the functions of a mother, counselor and caretaker to provide the kids a place to get a hot meal, do homework and just be loved.
"I just want to give them a chance in life and let them know whatever you go through, let Ms. Letitia go through [it] with you," Conliffe said.
Conliffe said the kids who benefit from the club experience everything from drug and child abuse to teenage pregnancy. Many also lack some basic needs.
"Sometimes they don't have water [or] food," she said.
With just a skillet and a crock-pot, Conliffe said she manages to feed between 30 and 50 kids per day.
She said she knows what its like to struggle growing up. Her connection with her mom "was not a relationship," she said.
"She could never tell me she loved me," Conliffe said. "I was told I wasn't going to be anybody. I wasn't going to amount to nothing, so that made me lash out."
She ran away from home, got involved with drugs and started skipping school and it got worse.
"Lo and behold, I got pregnant," Conliffe said. "I didn't have anywhere to go so I started living on the streets."
Conliffe was homeless while raising her 1-year-old daughter. After losing a friend to drugs, she realized she was at a crossroads —- and felt she was given a second chance.
That's when she decided to open a daycare and afterschool program for the children in her community of Sulphur Springs: Lil 4’s Kids Club.
"I have to do this for these kids because of what I went through," Conliffe said.
"I always thought I wouldn't amount up to anything. I stomped that devil," Conliffe said on "The View."
"I started this because there's so many people out there," she added, "so many kids that seek ... love that they don't get at home."
Conliffe said she has gone through her life savings to keep the club's doors open —- and mounting monthly costs for basic necessities like food and clothing for the kids have had her treading financial water.
On "The View" Tuesday, Conliffe saw her loved ones gather at Lil 4’s to support her —- and unveil her well-deserved gifts -- including three of her four daughters, her son and volunteers.
She was emotional when she saw the surprise: Food for her kids to last through summer, new appliances -- including a new fridge, washer and dryer —- and a new kitchen to fit it all in, everything from kitchen cabinets, new countertops, faucet, sink and shelving.
Several companies worked with "The View" to provide the club with the new digs: H-E-B, Jarrell Company, Seconds and Surplus, Skineez, Grace Eleyae and Blended Designs.
Donors also contibuted $70,000 in cash for the club.
Conliffe is continuing to raise money for the charity Lil 4’s through GoFundMe.