UNITIED STATES - A 26-year-old US college student has come up with a strange request.
Miss Jackie Turner , put up an advertisement on Craigslist, a classified advertisement website, looking to rent a loving family for the holidays.
The California native wrote in her touching notice: "I am looking to rent a mum and dad who can give me attention and make me feel like the light of their lives just for a couple of days because I really need it."
Miss Turner, who is estranged from her biological parents, offered prospective candidates US$8 (S$10) an hour for their services, the Mail Online reported.
"I've never felt the touch of my mum hugging me and holding me," she told a local television station News10.
"I don't know what it's like to look in my dad's eyes and feel love instead of hatred."
The presidential scholar from William Jessup University, with a grade point average of 4.0, had a tough upbringing. She was physically, sexually and emotionally abused since she was a little girl.
To escape the violence at home, she spent years living on the streets.
She said: "I was in gang life, on the streets, fighting, doing drugs, just making a mess of my life." She was arrested and served almost a year in jail. That was the turning point.
Upon her release, she went to a religious camp for troubled teens called Christian Encounter Ministries. Now she is doing well for herself.
Dozens of families have responded to the heartbreaking plea, offering to take Miss Turner in - free of charge.
Her bold decision to go public with her pain and longing for a family also struck a chord with other people who had suffered abuse.
She has been getting e-mail from men and women openly discussing their childhood traumas. Said Miss Turner: "People are out there with the same heart inside of them. Some of them with a greater drive then mine."
She is now hoping to arrange a meeting for all the people who have answered her advertisement so that no one would be alone this holiday season.
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