NORFOLK, Va. – After hearing Gloria Cooper’s story, several people in the community, including strangers, reached out to News 3 wanting to help. The response was so overwhelming Cooper said she’s at a loss for words.
“It just brought tears to my eyes,” she said.
Cooper’s tears were tears of joy.
She was taken aback by the number of people showing they care.
“I’ve actually had strangers come up to my house and say, ‘I heard your story. I just want to bless you,’” Cooper said.
The Norfolk woman’s long-awaited prayers have been answered.
“I know all this is through God,” she said.
Cooper said she’s been waiting for her unemployment check for nearly a year.
The 67-year-old is retired and living off of Social Security, but that money is quickly running out. Cooper said her bills keep piling up, including medical bills from her recent stroke.
As her situation become dire, she reached out to News 3 for help.
We called the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) and less than 24 hours later, the agency fixed the issue.
“Basically, they were saying it fell through the cracks,” said Cooper. “They found it was true. I had dotted all my I’s, crossed all my T’s, but somewhere within that agency, someone hadn’t dotted their I’s.”
Cooper said the VEC told her the check is now in the mail.
News 3 Reporter Antoinette DelBel said, “Would you say that we helped solve your problem?”
“Yes, immediately,” Cooper said. “I’m happy. My problem was resolved within 24 hours - less than - thanks to Channel 3, Antoinette. Immediately, she got on top of my concern. She felt my pain. She felt my pain and my stress, and all that was taken away.”
But Cooper’s story doesn’t end there.
People like Melanie Wood of Chesapeake, who don’t even know her, say they want to pay it forward.
“My husband and I chatted, and we wanted to send you a little gift of $500 to help towards your bills and give you a little play money for you to not have to live paycheck to paycheck, but treat yourself a little bit,” said Wood over the phone. “I hope you will enjoy it.”
Cooper’s smile, which at one point was fading, was back.
“I’m extremely overjoyed,” Cooper said. “I’m just smiling.”