September 23rd, 2010
12:40 PM ET

Family in poverty moved by generosity from an 'angel'

"Maria, " who was too embarrassed to give her true name, sits with one of her sons as she finds herself living below the poverty threshold.

There has been an outpouring of support and offers of help from CNN Radio listeners and CNN.com readers for “Maria” and her family. Maria’s story was profiled last week after the release of the U.S Census Bureau’s Poverty Report.

“Maria,” too embarrassed to give us her real name, tells us what has happened since her story was told, what help she has received and how it has renewed her faith in humankind, and energized her in moving forward finding a job and getting back on her feet.

One man in particular took “Maria” and her sons shopping for necessities.

“I am still trying to figure out if this person is real or an angel from God,” said “Maria."

The person who helped Maria is not rich. He has less than $50,000 in the bank but said he was simply moved to help.

Maria has two sons, the younger one suffers from Autism. CNN’s Jim Roope caught up with Maria following her encounter with the person she calls an “angel." The tears and the despair we heard in the original story has been replaced with smiles and hope.

Hear the update here:

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Filed under: Economy
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Sam

    I don't understand people who cannot find jobs. Unless you are severely disabled, or single mom of a toddler with no relatives, it's near impossible to *not* find a job. You may not earn much, but it beats the hell out of begging. Those able bodied people who cannot find jobs are either milking the system, are lazy and spoiled, find it beneath themselves to work blue collar, or all of the above.

    September 24, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. lisa

    What we do for ourselves dies with us, what we do for others remains immortal.
    One of the best quotes ever.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    My response was to long I guess as it's not posting so I'll break it into a couple pieces.

    The reason I was off so long was because of the Workman's Comp carrier itself, they required all medical tests be pre-approve, and each approval took a minimum of 2-3 months, it was 17 months before I even able to have surgery (and before the corrective surgery even moving from the bed to the couch or desk chair was a major excursion that was filled with lots of agony and pain.)

    After the surgery it was only about 6-8 months before my doctor cleared me to return to full duty, but the Workman's Comp carrier and their doctor would not clear me to return to work without closing out the case (so they could avoid any future medical bills for my back) so I had no choice but to agree to that. After THEY requested to close out the case it still took them two years before they finally closed the case so I could return to work.

    September 24, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Okay, so how did this end up down here and not up where I selected reply?

      September 24, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. walkamileintheirshoes

    To SAM – who said you can get a job if you want it – In some metro areas that may be true; but in rural areas where the industries have moved or closed up – there are NO jobs to be had.
    As in my earlier posting – Lend a hand if you can – you may need the same one day. There is always someone who has less than you!

    September 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lola

    Oh for petes sake gab, stoping being so mean. Dogs need a home too. I am glad they are giving that beautiful dog a home. I understand that dogs are very helpful with kids that have special needs. So I am sure you really did not mean that crappy comment..................

    September 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kay

    You can't judge someone by a photo! She could have been given the DVD's or found them at yard sales. Many poor people take pets in, because they often have very big hearts and want to help even those less fortunate than themselves. Not to mention, there could have been a time Maria was NOT poor and was able to buy a few fun things in her life.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gui

    Gab is not being mean, but being logical. If logic is mean, then I don't know what to say. Logic tell you that you are poor, you need to shed excessiveness. If you have a dog, try to find a family for the dog that can actually provide a home and good living. That is logic, not being mean. SEESH

    September 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Feuerkelch

    A. I don't even see DVDs in this picture
    B. She probably had the dog BEFORE she hit hard times. And it's just difficult to give up a dog after you've had them, they really become a part of the family.
    C. I don't know why you people judge this person without even knowing her. You and John need to take a walk in Maria's shoes before you insult her.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ev

    If you listen to the woman, you'll hear that they sold the tv, the dogs, the furniture, and their wedding rings. Granted there are many "poor" people who use food stamps so they can afford their iPhone contracts, but this family is not among them. While I don't personally know them, they sound like they're really in dire straits, they're trying hard to find work, and they give details and do not beg for help. Even as someone who is generally skeptical of hard-luck stories (as I am and you seem to be), I would be willing to help this family out to get them back on their feet. They sound like true Americans and good people.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Feuerkelch

    Ok I think i see what COULD be dvds...but if they are, that's not exactly an extensive collection anyway. I agree with Kay!

    September 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ron

    I thought that was your wife with the ball

    September 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hannah01

    You're a moron....you sound like the type of person who wouldn't be moved to help another human being if your own life depended on it. Sometimes having a pet can ease a person's despair because animals are non-judgemental, unlike you. A pet will love you no matter what your station in life. Which reminds me...you need to get a life. You should thank God you're not in her position....I reiterate...you are a moron.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kay10

    Um, I check out my DVD's from the library- I'll keep that in mind if someone ever takes a picture of my home to hide them just in case someone gets the wrong idea, like I'm a millionaire or something because of it.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Len

    My god, chill out. You may not know this but many people who are homeless have animals as well. Many non-profit organizations help individuals who have pets afford to give them loving homes. What else would she do, put the dog on the street to be a stray? Animals are part of the family as well. Also, that doesn't look like a DVD but an original Playstation game from the greatest hits. With how old the system is, they probably got it at a garage sale for $10 with games.

    Before you start judging, why don't you go work in a family homeless shelter for a weekend. I bet it will open your eyes...

    September 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. hannah01

    John, you sound like a bitter man. By the way, didn't you get Workmen's Compensation to help you while you were out for your work-related injury? Not enough to pay the bills? Maybe you're lifestyle is a little excessive....

    September 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
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