Retired couple donates stimulus check to Lake County Family after watching News 6 report

Unemployed mother’s story ‘tugged at the old heart strings’

When John and Kay Custis saw the News 6 report of the financial plight of an unemployed woman and her family, they wanted to help her right away.

“She deserves it,” Kay Custis told News 6 Monday. "She needed help, you could tell by looking at her. It tugged at the old heart strings.”

Jessica White a mother of four lost her full-time job as a restaurant server in Lake County on March 13.

White told News 6 she has been unable to get through to the Department of Economic Opportunity website to file for unemployment benefits as late as Monday.

“I keep getting disconnected,” she said.

In her struggle to keep a roof over her family’s head, she got a part-time job as a gas station cashier but she said that paycheck along with her husband’s disability check is not enough to make ends meet.

White said she has cut every line of their budget but the bills including the internet "can’t be pushed back” anymore.

Her children need the internet for distance learning.

After seeing her story, John and Kay Custin contacted News 6 and made a surprising offer: They wanted to donate their $2,400 stimulus check to White’s family.

“I’m a retired Navy officer and I’ve been through a lot,” John Custis said. “We thought why not pass it on because Jessica needs it a lot more than we do.”

When News 6 contacted White to let her know the couple would be sending her their stimulus check, she said she started to cry.

“I’m so thankful and thank God there are people like them,” White said. “They’re so sweet, they’re such a godsend.”

John and Kay Custis said they were glad to be able to do it and praised News 6 for the station’s Getting Results community connection.

“Getting Results is not just a slogan. It’s an asset to this community and the way people are coming together to help people is in part a result of what you’ve been doing," John Custis said. "We really appreciate what you do.”

It’s “wonderful it’s just wonderful,” Kay Custis said.

The couple sent the check to White Monday afternoon.

If you have an issue on benefits or balancing your budget, email Mike Holfeld: mholfeld@wkmg.com.

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