Good Samaritan makes mortgage payment for furloughed fed

WASHINGTON — As the government shutdown drags on through two full pay periods now, hundreds of thousands of people around the area are looking at a month of no pay, regardless of whether they worked or not.

One Capitol Heights, Maryland, woman is feeling the effects of the shutdown, but was surprised Saturday when a good Samaritan stepped up to help.

“It’s hard,” said 58-year-old Audrey Murray-Wright, who is employed by the Smithsonian as a cleaner, and also works as a contractor to help clean the State Department. “The bills keep coming, they don’t care … It’s not like I don’t work. I work! I’m a taxpayer!”

With both agencies shut down, a second paycheck is about to be missed, and she confessed she didn’t know how she would pay her February mortgage.

Kimberly O’Grady of Arlington reached out to WTOP and asked if she could help. Saturday morning she showed up at Murray-Wright’s home with flowers and a gift bag, which included money that will help cover that February mortgage payment.

The two shared smiles, and lots of hugs on Murray-Wright’s couch. The act of kindness came with only one request from O’Grady: “Pay it back to somebody else if you’re in a position to help somebody.“

“Who’s going to give me a gift like that?!” Murray-Wright asked, with amazement in her voice and tears in her eyes.

“I’m so happy I could help,” said O’Grady, as Murray-Wright kept thanking her. “Everybody needs help sometimes in one form or fashion. I just feel very lucky I was able to find you and help you find your smile in the middle of a struggle.”

After about 10 minutes, O’Grady got up to leave, but not without more hugs from her new friend.
“You’re my angel,” said Audrey-Wright to O’Grady. “God bless you. I am so blessed!”

Audrey Murray-Wright (left) and Kimberly O’Grady (right) at Murray-Wright’s home. (WTOP/John Domen)

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