Shujana Anthony loved being a waitress, she told CNN. But restaurants across the nation have been hard hit by the shutdowns mandated because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Anthony was among the vast numbers who are now without a paycheck.
In a CNN interview that aired Wednesday, Anthony said she didn’t know how she was going to pay the $1,100 rent for her apartment.
“I don’t know,” she said. “When you’re scared, you don’t see nothing but fear.”
Enter Tami Vaughn, a viewer in Illinois, who reached out to CNN to offer to pay Anthony’s rent.
CNN’s Erin Burnett told Anthony the good news on air Thursday.
“Shut up!,” Anthony said. “I’m a little shocked right now and overwhelmed, but yet super grateful.”
“I was just moved by what she’s going through,” Vaughn told CNN. “And I know so many people are going through” the same.
“I just wanted to help, even if it’s just a little bit, and maybe she can pay it forward, even if it’s a year from now, and to whomever she wants,” Vaughn said. “Just spread kindness.”
By the sound of it, Anthony is ready to take up that challenge.
“I can’t sit and be sad,” Anthony said, noting there may be others in the restaurant industry who aren’t as strong as she is who she could help.
“I need to take this opportunity to think, what can I build for those who don’t know what else to do?”