Stephanie Wilford's emotional interview with KSTP last week, in which the disabled Minneapolis woman described how riots and looting in the wake of George Floyd 's death have upended her life, led a neighbor she'd never met and strangers from around the country to reach into their hearts - and wallets to help.
Jill Sims, who lives near Wilford, told Fox News she saw Stephanie Wilford's story after a local reporter from Minnesota tweeted about it. She then replied to the thread asking how she could be of assistance - and soon a GoFundMe account that has so far raised over $30,000 for Wilford began.
"It brought me to tears," Sims told Fox News. "As I am a neighbor in Minneapolis just two and a half miles down the road, I replied asking if there was a way we could help residents in need of assistance.
"After that tweet, I received a lot of replies and DM's from folks across the country wanting to support Stephanie. Patience has never been my strong suit. So, after a few hours, I decided to reach out to Stephanie directly to get permission to start a GoFundMe."
Wilford's interview made headlines last week when she tearfully chastised looters, rioters and agitators, claiming that her livelihood had been destroyed for nothing.
"I have nowhere to go now. I have no way to get there because the buses aren't running. People did this for no reason," she said. "It's not going to bring George back here. George is in a better place than we are."
Wilford continued, "Last night, I'm going to be honest, I wish I was where George was -- because this is ridiculous. These people are tearing up my livelihood."
Sims said she expected the fundraising effort to net a few hundred dollars, but as of Saturday afternoon, it had raised over $30,300 -- more than triple the original goal.
"I thought we'd raise a few hundred dollars to get some essentials and set her up on perhaps a Shipt account -- but it's turned into so much more than that," Sims explained. "I've been working with another neighbor, Ann, to coordinate the GoFundMe effort and to work with Stephanie directly.
"Additionally - I've been collecting a list of Minneapolis neighbors interested in helping Wilford and her neighbors," she continued. "The generosity of so many neighbors -- near and far -- has been incredible."