Crewe family awarded $300 to help pay bills during pandemic

Published: May. 8, 2020 at 7:20 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Coronavirus has caused businesses all across the country to shut their doors, leaving a lot of people unemployed, but the bills still have to get paid.

For this week’s Acts of Kindness, NBC 12 is throwing the rules out the window by giving the $300 prize to a family in need.

“Life keeps going on and the money is not rolling in," says Jessica Niro, who lives in Crewe.

She’s been a waitress for decades, and now she’s unemployed like 30 million other Americans across the country.

"I’m at my wit’s end, I’m losing my mind. Our electric bill is due to cut off,” she said.

Niro received her stimulus payment from the federal government, along with an additional $600 through the “Cares Act.”

In March, she filed for unemployment with the Virginia Employment Commission.

In April, she got one deposit from VEC with two weeks’ worth of assistance, nothing since. As required by the state, she continues to filer her weekly claim, but there’s always a problem.

“It just keeps saying not processing, not processing. I’ve left so many messages with them, emails, phone calls, nothing. Absolutely no response. Not even anything in the mail saying why it’s not being processed."

Jessica’s fiancé is a gig worker and he filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and hasn’t gotten a dime.

"We have a child that has been out of school, a mother that is very high risk and disabled, it’s really been a struggle waiting for the money and it not being there,” says Niro.

NBC12 is working with the VEC to get the family some answers, but in the meantime, they were surprised with our $300 prize.

“Thank you so much. You don’t know how much this means. We don’t know where the next dollar is coming from, as do a lot of people. It’s not right, it’s not fair. We didn’t wish this on anybody, this came here. And It’s no one’s fault. This means a lot,” says Niro.

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