HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - Thea Spann was on her floor praying for answers when she looked up at her TV and a CSPAN host was asking for viewers who were financially impacted by COVID-19 to call into the show.
Spann picked up the phone and nervously told her story.
“I just needed someone to hear me, to listen to me. I’m 57-year-old. How am I going to make it? I feel like I am going to be homeless,” she said on live TV through tears.
Spann was in a deep hole. At the start of the pandemic, she left her job as a nursing assistant at a nursing home in Hilton Head because her doctor said she had too many underlying health conditions to be in an environment where COVID-19 was circulating. Spann said when she couldn’t receive unemployment assistance she tried to go back to work she was turned away. Spann had been at that same job for 33 years.
“I never thought that I would ever be in this situation,” she said.
She had already asked her children for help and didn’t want to keep asking. It hurt her not to be independent. But, when applying for jobs lead to a lot of shut doors, she just searched for connection.
“I wanted somebody to hear me because I have absolutely nothing,” she said.
After she hung up with the station, she felt her prayers were answered. In the hours and days that followed, Spann said at least 50 people have reached out to her. Some have offered advice, prayers, and even checks. Spann said she has gotten at least $300 dollars in help from complete strangers.
The producers with the Washington Journal, the CSPAN show Spann called into, say they’ve received 50 emails, more than 20 calls, and countless text messages about Spann’s story.
Spann calls everyone who has reached out to her gifts from God.
“There’s a lot of angels. You might not believe that but there is. There are angels on this Earth,” she said. “I just want to thank you for everything you have done. Just thank you for listening to me. It’s hard and it’s hard to weather the storm. For some reason 2020 has brought me...I won’t complain. I won’t complain,” Spann said through tears.
Spann said the money she has received will help in the short term and she has recently heard back from a potential job as a receptionist at a hotel.
“Love wins,” she said.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can always call the National Suicide Helpline at 800-273-8255 or if you’re in a crisis you can text help4sc to 741-741. If you’re looking for work DEW has frequent job posting and hosts job fairs.