RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on so many people in our community.
Troubleshooter Diane Wilson has highlighted many heartbreaking stories of unemployed people in the Triangle who struggled during the past year. One of those who had a hard time early in the pandemic was Wake County resident Michelle Hudson.
When COVID-19 hit the area, she lost her job and she struggled to get her unemployment benefits and shared her frustrations with Wilson.
Last April, she sent Wilson a video message that said, "I ran out of money, I have no food, and I'm currently alone. If there is anything you can help me with; please reach out to me."
Immediately after that story, ABC11 viewers responded with help. More than 100 viewers reached out offering food, gift cards, money for rent, and prayers.
Now a year later, Hudson is back on her feet and is thankful for the viewers who helped her during her darkest days.
"It really taught me that people, that people will help you," Hudson said. "All you have to do is ask for it. I just didn't know how to ask, you know, I felt like I was a failure at that point, and now I just feel like, you know, things are falling into place and not everything is perfect, but it's not supposed to be."
Hudson is back to work at a new job, plus she got healthier during the pandemic by losing 45 pounds. One of her happiest moments was when she was finally able to see her son in person after 385 days.
To keep him safe from COVID-19, his group home locked down to visitors, but that has since been lifted, and Hudson said she couldn't stop smiling during the visit.
Now that she's back on her feet, she's paying it forward.
"Every time I go to the grocery store, and I buy something or put something in the bin for someone, you know, it says needs food," she said.
As for others still struggling, she said just take it one day at a time, and pray, as that's what helped her get through those rough times.