BROOKSVILLE — Shandi Schuler got her Christmas wish.
The unemployed single mom of three was getting desperate over the Thanksgiving weekend and placed an ad on her van windows with white shoe polish.
"Single Mom of 3 NEEDS JOB!" wrote Schuler, 26, adding her phone number.
Soon her phone started ringing with offers of help, after the St. Petersburg Times wrote a story about her plight.
And now, just in time for the holidays, Accuform Signs has come through with a full-time job.
"I am totally relieved," she said.
Schuler, of Hernando Beach, had tried all the means she knew, visiting the Career Central job assistance site, scouring the Internet for jobs and applying for jobs at places around town such as Target, Publix and McDonald's. No leads turned into work.
But there was one more thing she could do.
"I'm going to turn my car into a billboard," she said.
Slowly her phone began to ring. A reporter called and wrote a story. Community members began contacting Schuler with presents, gift cards and cash donations. Some were anonymous; others came with hugs.
Schuler was grateful, knowing that each gift kept her family afloat a little longer.
But only one thing would keep them going long term: a job of her own.
Then Dave Johnson saw Schuler's story in the Times and called her. He was impressed with her initiative.
"It showed she really wanted to do something," he said.
One interview later, Schuler had a job.
Located in the Hernando County Airport Industrial Park, Accuform manufactures a variety of products, including traffic, roadway and safety signs, as well as cable and electrical wire and identification tags.
Schuler isn't sure yet what she will do for the company, but she is determined to make a good impression.
On Monday, she drove to work for the first time, the windows of her 2003 white Ford Windstar sparkling clean.
Shary Lyssy Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.