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Panhandling for tuition: Battle Creek mom does what she can to send daughter to MSU

stack of dollar bills
Lori Truex said "desperation" caused her to panhandle this summer. She needed money for her daughter's MSU tuition.

Battle Creek mom Lori Truex didn't have the money to pay her daughter's Michigan State University tuition.

But she didn't let that stop her. Truex decided to stand on the side of a street asking for donations. Seventy nine days later, she was able to end her panhandling campaign, which she called "One Mom, One Year."

Between panhandling and a GoFundMe campaign, Truex raised a total of $10,272.30 as of Aug. 26.

She joined Stateside today to explain why she took this step for her daughter. The short answer, she said, is "desperation."

"Don't you always want your kids to do better than you've done? And we live paycheck to paycheck, basically," she said.

While she doesn't regret "one single moment of the summer," not everyone agrees with her tactics. She said people have loved showing her the negative comments on Facebook.

"I think when people are angry about this, you have to ask yourself: 'I think I'm a fairly average, typical, middle-income working mom," she said. "And if it can drive me to do something like this, isn't there a bigger issue?"

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