Local News

'I'm in a better place now:' WRAL viewers help a Durham grandmother financially hit by pandemic

Posted December 25, 2020 6:19 p.m. EST
Updated December 25, 2020 8:22 p.m. EST

A struggling Durham grandmother reached out to WRAL to shed light on the challenges of getting help from the Hope Program earlier this week.

Within days of her story airing, Samantha Wynn says she has received an overwhelming amount of support.

Wynn said her life practically changed overnight. She lost her job due to the coronavirus pandemic while having to raise two grandchildren.

While struggling to pay rent, she called several local programs seeking help but received no luck – until now.

“Even though I didn’t see brighter days, I continued on praying," said Wynn.

Brighter days are here for her and her grandchildren. This Christmas Day filled with toys, love and laughter is far from what she expected to have a few days ago.

“It’s overwhelming. So many boxes of food, gifts. I’m just very thankful and I’m very grateful," Wynn said.

On the brink of eviction and struggling to make ends meet, Wynn shared her story of the hardship to receive rental assistance. Dozens of people have traveled to her from to donate money, food, clothes and gifts.

"I’m not a crier. When hard times come up, I just look for solutions. But I cried. I cried like a baby," Wynn added.

In the blink of an eye, she was able to get back on her feet thanks to what she calls her new ‘family.’ After this very difficult year, Wynn said this was proof to all that there is always hope in what may seem like a hopeless situation.

“I’m in a better place right now. I’m in a better place than I was last week, last month, nine months ago," said Wynn.

Due to support from her landlord and the community, she’s been able to cover all of her bills.

Local organizations have since reached out to her to connect her to more resources. For anyone interested in still lending a hand, a GoFundMe page was created.

Another way you can help someone close to home is by adding a little extra to your utility bills.

A number of cities and towns in our area have programs that allow you add money to your bill to pay for people who have gotten behind on their bills.

In Apex, it's called Neighbors helping Neighbors and you can sign up online. Raleigh, Hillsborough and Fayetteville PWC have similar programs. Durham residents can contribute to the Water Hardship Fund.

Check with your power and water companies before you send extra money so you can be sure it goes to the right place.

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