MUSKEGON, Mich. — At 13 ON YOUR SIDE, we love to highlight the good that is happening in our community, and it's especially awesome when a viewer reaches out to tell us about someone amazing. That's exactly what happened with this story.
Seems like a typical weekday scene: a group of kids waiting at the corner bus stop. But you don't have to look hard to see what makes this stop extraordinary.
Inside that Scooby Doo costume is a woman who would do anything for her kids.
"I started fostering in 2016 and we had a bunch of kids that we had in our home at the time and they all had to start at new schools and that is very scary," explained Colleen Ashley. "So in the process I dressed up as a sumo wrestler when they got off the bus and they loved it. I did it for three days and they were like are you dressing up today? And when I said no they looked so sad so I kept doing it. Every week I say this is my last week and 3 years later it is still not my last week."
Scroll through her Crazy Costume Mom Facebook page and what you won't see is repetition.
"Three years of a different costume every single day. From superheroes to animals to blow ups, all of them. I've repeated 3 costumes and that's it. I bargain shop a lot."
It's an investment of time and money with a priceless result: happiness when it can be so hard to come by.
"When we started doing foster care we wanted to work with biological parents on reunification...we watched some kids go home, we've watched some kids not go home."
So what do the kids think of her antics?
"I love it, she is the best mom ever," said Jubilee.
"I think it's cool."
"If there is one person who is going to make your day really awesome and make your day cheer up, and have a really good day it's going to be my mom," said Jax.
And it's not just for Colleen's kids, it's for everyone who rides the bus. In fact, it was bus driver Audra who told us about Colleen.
"This lady has been doing this a long time, every day, 3 years. it's pretty amazing and to have somebody out there in a different costume and to bring so much joy to the kids on my bus, it's amazing. I love that," said Audra.
"I do it for my kids, that reward makes up for the humiliation I suffer at the corner every day," said Colleen.
Colleen says she hopes this inspires other parents. And if you are interested in becoming a foster parent, the need is huge.
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