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Helping Each Other Story: 'Mama Shu' of Avalon Village still nurturing the community amid the pandemic

Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 18:11:18-04

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Years ago we introduced you to Mama Shu – a metro Detroit woman who nurtured a neighborhood back to life.

Shamayim Harris “aka” Mama Shu, has turned blight into beauty.

7 Action News Reporter Andrea Isom shows us how Highland Park’s own Mama Shu of Avalon Village is carrying on her role as "Mom" of her community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Volunteers help to build Homework House for kids at the Avalon Village

They don’t call her Mama Shu for nothing! Because spreading, laughter, love, peace and joy is Mama Shu.

From mothering her own children and mothering her neighborhood, Mama Shu is creating a precious space called Avalon Village in Highland Park, which is now known around the world!

It takes a village to raise a child and to truly embrace and impact a community. So, she built it. And for years Mama Shu has been giving people whatever they need to succeed.

“This is what we do. This is how we operate in the village," Mama Shu said. "We share love all the time but specifically with the COVID-19 situation and crisis. We’ve just been really pouring on the love thicker! People are worried, they’re discouraged. And then also, loved ones have died and everything."

So she’s continuing to do what she does. She steps in with her whole heart.

“Dropping off food on the porches with love notes attached to them," she said with a smile. "We gave everybody a $50. I have a few grocery carts, and that’s how we’ve been delivering food."

She’s giving out various cleaning supplies, diapers – you name it! And Mama Shu wants to give a message to all of you.

“Stay safe, stay as healthy as you can. And to have no fear,” she said.

And we can all do that by reminding one another that this too shall pass. Especially if we are always helping each other.

To help Mama Shu continue her mission go to

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Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michgian, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

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