PHOENIX — Complete strangers from across the country have rallied behind a Phoenix mother whose 7-year-old son mistakenly emptied her bank account through Roblox purchases.
Kayla Howard shared her story on 12News a week before Christmas. She explained her son who has autism was playing on Roblox, the popular gaming application, and spent $897. That emptied her bank account and with overdraft fees, her account was in the red over $1,000.
Howard is a single mom who works two jobs to support her four children. Three of her children have autism.
After sharing her story, fellow single moms, parents of children with autism and many who have had Roblox spending mistakes wanted to help.
Howard created a GoFundMe page and set the goal to $1,244.
“I set the goal to $1,244 and that’s because that’s how negative my account was," Howard explained.
The community multiplied that by ten.
“The last time I checked it was at $10,979 dollars!" Howard said. "Ten times the goal."
Howard was able to buy a Christmas tree which she decorate with her children. She also surprised them with gifts.
She now has a plan to pay it forward.
“What I’m most excited about doing is actually starting a non-profit named after my daughter specifically to help families of children with autism," Howard said.
It was a hard year for Howard but she's heading into the new year with hope.
“Thank you to everyone who supported myself and my children during this time. Thank you for reminding me that there are good people in this world," Howard said.
Howard said after 12News aired its original report, Roblox refunded her money back.
She has also since made changes to the Roblox apps on her children's devices including changing the payment method.
Parents can also set monthly spending limits within the app.
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