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 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. Lisa

    God bless the person who helped them. I think we all need to have a giving heart-you'll be blessed for it. Even if you can't afford to give alot, or even just donate a little time, it can mean alot to someone else. I really think those people who are saying inconsiderate things, honestly, just take a step back and think about if you were in that position. I think alot of people hide behind their computers to feel safe to spew their hateful words, but I hope you remember those words if you ever fall on hard times.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lynne

    This is a GREAT story! It's satisfying knowing you're helping people less fortunate, even if you yourself aren't well off. I know the feeling. I'm a single mother of 5 and have helped women and their children at the women's shelter here where I live at several times. We always give food for the food bank and have given a lot of older clothes away that no longer fit my children. It feels great to give to someone else. You never know how their situation is just looking at them until they let you in and accept help.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jen

    What happened to celebrating those things that make life a little easier, whether it is for us or someone else? There are moments that we all experience someone else's selflessness. Or did we forget that?

    September 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Professor Moose

      Forget what?

      September 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Denise

    Remember – what goes around... comes around. Maybe not back to you, but on your children. So be careful of what comes out of your mouth.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. snurfles

    I agree that it should be "people helping people" but unfortunately, these comments prove that there are morons out there who just don't get it. They think most people living in poverty are in that situation because they want to be. So, because so many of us are selfish and refuse to help, the government steps in to do what the people should be doing. It's not the greatest arrangement but it's tough to deny the need. Also, the guy with $50,000 in the bank, he may not be rich but that's a darned healthy savings account! Good on him to spread some of that around. I give $5 to $15 a month to my favorite charities depending on that month's bills and will continue to do so for as long as I'm able. A little can go a long way.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      If half of America gave a dollar a month to charity, we could raise $1.8 billion dollars a year. That's half of America- at ONE DOLLAR a month to someone else. Don't discount your donations. They add up. You do what you can and you should feel proud.

      The notion that those who are in need aren't smart or have done something wrong is a fallacy. The notion that if everyone just "worked hard enough" they wouldn't suffer is also untrue. Those are words from someone who is doing well and wants the world to look at their accomplishments in awe.

      I have sympathy for those who are in need, even if it IS their own fault. Admitting that you've made bad choices and are in a bad situation at your own hand is noble. I know that this is not the case here, but the fact that they might have possibly had something at one point doesn't mean anything.

      September 23, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stephanie

    I love to hear about compassionate many times, we hear about how someone has hurt others. even though my family is going through some hard times right now, we still try to help out others because that is the right thingto do. that is being human!

    September 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NA

    Good luck, "Maria." And to the "Angel" great to hear about individuals like you.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bornatheist

    The bad thing is when folks are at the poverty level and have animals the animals really suffer...they can't take care of them and giving them away due to money issues they end up in humane societies or worse – neglected or dead. My issue is this woman is hiding her face because she's an illegal...I don't support helping them, 90% don't even fill out the cesus, and we need to account for them and send them back from where ever they came from...but we "true" Americans if we don't fill out the census we get fined. So I feel bad for the dog!

    September 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • smn

      bornatheist – Um...what? Do you have proof that she's an 'illegal'?

      September 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gail

    Yes, God bless this man who selflessly gave in a time of need. To people like Paris Hilton: take note of this story. This anonymous man has earned more respect than you could in a lifetime. I wish we could find him and make a big headline story on him instead of your worthless antics. He probably would be too humble, however, to allow this. American people should look up to guys like this as real "heroes". With all your vast resources, think of all the good you could do (and subsequent headlines that would send shockwaves throughout more than one continent) if you decided to shed your self-serving image and reach out to others.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Facundo

      Agree 100%. USELESS people like Hilton, who have MILLIONS of dollars to help the poor, but are too busy partying and snorting cocaine. Disgusting.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Selfish Gene

      don't thank god. thank the individual, not an angel, but a human.
      pay it forward.

      September 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nick

    whaaaaaaaaaatz goooood

    September 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lynea

    I think one thing is not being taken into considration and that would be first, that she fell on hard times and selling DVDs is not going to pay the rent ( I assure you ) . Secondly, when you have children the one last thing you want to have to do is sell their belongings. It is hard to find a job in this economy and when you have children upsetting their sense of normalcy is your final option.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sylvia

    instead of thinking negative we she be praising God that God is moving in times of need. we all might hv strggles in our lives...and beenin a single parent times our hard. may God bless us also in our time of need.!

    September 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Selfish Gene

      Stop waiting for god to move mountains and pick up a shovel.

      September 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jdang

    Less than $50,000 in the bank is "not rich?" I have less than $800 in the bank. What does that make me?

    September 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • WHAT

      you and me both 🙂 im down to $4 in my checking, thank goodness for the money fairy tomorrow

      September 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • cornea503

      I guess that would make you poor. I bet you typed this from your iPhone...

      September 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Almond Mom

      Cornea503 – Seroiusly? What is your major malfunction? You assume everyone has these things. What's up with that? Are you the only one out there that is saving up money while everyone else spends? Do you not have these things and you're jealous? Lay off everyone else and worry about yourself.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WHAT

    wait a second here, hes not rich but he has $50,000 in savings? who the h3ll has that kind of money anymore??? I have $200 and i think im doin pretty good!!!

    September 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • hannah01

      "THAT kind of money?" I hate to break it to you, bucko, but that's not alot of money anymore. Could've been his 401K for all we know. Then it's REALLY not alot of money....unless he's 25yrs old, which I doubt..

      September 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. NOLA Lady

    Do not judge lest ye be judged, Gabby dear .... I am so glad people have stepped up to help Maria. Times are tough indeed. People who have never experienced tough times are experiencing them .... I would hope they don't have to sell everything in order to get some help to get back on their feet. There will always be "Gabbys" to judge and hold humans back, but remember, there are also "Angels," who remind us of how wonderful humans can be!

    September 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
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