Virginia Redmond - Staying Strong in the Face of Homelessness
This week's 'Pay it Forward' focuses on the strength and determination of Virginia Redmond and her family in Bradley County who refuse to be broken.
Cathy Carter is single mother who worries constantly about her neighbors in need.
"I nominated Virginia Redmond and her family (for 'Pay it Forward). They've been going through some hard times and recently they've become homeless," Cathy says.
Cathy tells me, "My son's good friends with their son and he come home one day and told me that they were fixing to lose their house due to foreclosure and that he (the Redmond's son) needed a place to stay. So, he went and got his clothes and he's been with us several months and we're hoping he can be back with his family soon."
Virginia is a full-time caregiver to her aging and ailing parents who shared their home of eight years until the house was auctioned off in October.
Cathy says, "In December her (Virginia's) mom had a heart attack and her dad had two strokes, so they've really been struggling."
When Virginia's father became too sick to work and her husband's janitor job simply wasn't enough to make ends meet they lost their home and decided to buy a tent, a tarp and an air mattress until they could get on their feet again. The family thought they would have a place to live long before now.
Cathy and I count out Virginia's 'Pay it Forward' cash and we drive down the road.
We arrive outside the tents minutes later.
The propane generator that's kept the Redmonds warm during this brutal winter roars as Virginia emerges from the tarp to greet Cathy.
Cathy smiles and says to Virginia, "On behalf of McMahan Law Firm and NewsChannel 9 I'm paying you forward. Hold out your hand and in hopes of getting you a home here's $100, $200, $300, $400, $500."
Virginia smiles from ear to ear and says, "Thank you so much!"
Virginia is grateful to Cathy, not only for the much needed money, but for allowing her son a safe place to stay.
Virginia thinks about her child and begins to tear up and cry.
"It's hard on me not to be able to have him with me."
I ask her (Virginia), "Do you ever lose your hope?"
Drying her tears she takes a deep and honest breath.
"Yes, Virginia says. There's plenty of times that I've just thought about just walking away and walk out in front of a car."
But she knows she must and she will stay strong for her family.
As Cathy and I get ready to leave Virginia hugs us both.
It's apparent her heart may be broken but her spirit is not.
Virginia Redmond and her family are hoping they'll be able to save enough money by late this spring to buy a trailer and bring their son home so they can be a family again.
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