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Community reaches out to family in need

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More than 70,000 unemployed people in North Carolina could find themselves waiting up to six weeks to receive extended benefits. Friday, we introduced you to a man waiting to receive his unemployment extension check. Dozens of people were touched by his story, and many have helped Christmas come early for his family.

Terry Jorden was worried his family wouldn’t be able to make it through the holidays without his extended unemployment benefits, but thanks to an outpouring of community support, Jorden is confident the holidays will be happy. “It’s pretty much restored my faith in mankind, which I started to lose there for a while. The response has been overwhelming,” Jorden said.

Friday, Terry Jorden told us about his struggles with unemployment. In 2007 he lost his job as a plumber. Two weeks later his wife was also laid off.

The family lost their home and moved to the Wilmington area for a ten dollar an hour job.

“It’s just awesome for a new family, new to the area, that people would come together to help somebody like this, a perfect stranger,” Jorden said.

After the story aired, dozens of people called to ask how they could help Jorden, his wife, and two kids.

“When he opened his refrigerator door and there was hardly any food in there, and he said he and his wife had eaten toast for three days at a time, that really touched me and I knew I had to do something,” said Dianne Matthews.

“People actually called to catch us up on our rent. They’ve helped us with our truck payments. They’ve brought us food,” Jorden said.

Jorden says he’s thankful for all the support, but never expected the response. “I just wanted to bring attention to the fact that it was taking North Carolina so long to get out the benefits that are so desperately need right now, especially through the holidays and with it getting cold.”

Everyone who lent a hand said they didn’t want anything in return; they were just happy to help.

“Well I just think that it’s the American thing to do when you know somebody that things are out of their control and you know that you can help any little bit,” Matthews said.

“Thanks to this community, we’re pretty much in good shape right now, for right now,” Jorden said.

The North Carolina Employment Security Commission says it sent out checks to about 20,000 people eligible for the extension Congress approved last month, but computer programming could delay the rest of the checks by up to six weeks…after the holidays are over.

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videoFriday, we introduced you to a man waiting to receive his unemployment extension check. Dozens of people were touched by his story, and many have helped Christmas come early for his family.

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