NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - “I went from having, like almost a full-time income to just completely dead-stop. In the matter of a week,” Hilham, TN-resident Alethia McGarvey said.
Before the coronavirus shut down many schools, McGarvey said she had a steady flow of income working as a substitute teacher. Who knew, within just a few weeks, her finances would take a drastic turn.
“I’m like so many other Americans, that maybe had like maybe $300 or $400 in savings before this happened,” McGarvey said.
McGarvey is a single mom. She’s also a caregiver.
“My mother, she’s in remission from Renal Cancer. However, they just had to do a biopsy so we are afraid she might be having a recurrence with that. When my mom got sick, everything fell on me. And I kind of stepped up to be that leader of the family and it’s incredibly overwhelming when you don’t know what to do yourself,” McGarvey said.
“We’re hearing a lot of that. I mean I’ve heard my share of tearful phone calls,” said John McMillin, President of the United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland.
McMillin knows that in times like these, rural Tennesseans are oftentimes hit the hardest.
“A lot of these folks haven’t got back on their feet after the tornado. They lost jobs after the Tornado. They’ve lost their jobs temporarily with that, but now with COVID, their long time job losses are longer. So, they’re panicked. They’re calling us about bills that aren’t even due yet,” McMillin said.
News4 told McMillin about McGarvey’s situation and they’re working to help her out. McMillin said they’re a smaller United Way office, so resources are somewhat limited, but they’re working hard to get as much assistance as possible.
“For those of us who have a little more right now, we have to take care of the ones who have a little less. We’re just gonna pull through and The United Way is gonna be here to do as much of it as we possibly can to help folks,” McMillin said.
For McGarvey and many others, the stimulus check is too far away. She’s just hoping she can get some relief. For her family’s sake.
“I’m trying to keep my head on. I’m trying to keep everything as normal as possible, but, these are not normal times,” McGarvey said.
McMillin said if you are in their region, call the office at 615-443-1871. If you are not in this area, dial 211 - a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.