OXON HILL, Md. — Never discount the kindness and generosity of the American people.
A day after we told you about Faye Smith, 60, a furloughed security guard at the Smithsonian who feared the shutdown would leave her homeless, you all have come through for her.
As of Thursday evening, GoFundMe account set up in her name has raised almost $5,000.
Cold, wet, and exhausted from a day out looking for work, she was also stunned when we told her about the sheer generosity of strangers. "What?!!!" she said. "Oh no, oh wow, oh my gosh," she cried, her smile gleaming through the tears.
Smith was among the hundreds of furloughed federal workers and contractors protesting at the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday. Laid off from her job as a contract security guard at the Smithsonian's Hirshorn Art Museum a month ago, she feared she'd miss the rent and end up homeless. "It's scary. It's very scary," she said at the protest. "I'm cried and I'm cried out, just grief."
Twitter picked up my message about her, and overnight, IT marketer Jason Taylor reached out from California asking if he could help.
"I saw this woman pouring out her heart in tears, really impacted by this shutdown and about to lose her home," said Taylor.
He was far from alone. Josh Tjaden in New York set up the GoFundMe, and the donations poured in. Taylor kicked in $420 dollars, and then another $30 to put her up to her goal. "There's a million Faye's out there right now," he said.
Smith can scarcely believe it. All she wants now is for the shutdown to end so she can get back to work.