Community rallies to help woman evicted from her apartment

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. --There has been an outpouring of support from the community after WREG aired the story of 84-year-old Virdie Burns.

Burns was evicted from her apartment in Whitehaven after she couldn't pay her rent.

Court documents obtained by WREG showed she owed her complex more than $1,300.

The day she was on her way to pay her rent, she was robbed at a bus stop.

All of her money and things were stolen out of her purse.

Burns sat outside with her things in the dangerous heat on Wednesday and sat through the storm Tuesday night because she had nowhere to go.

Thankfully Burns was out of the elements and safe Thursday when WREG spoke with her again.

A viewer saw the story on Wednesday and got her a room at a local motel.

Burns was also supposed to be moving into a new home soon.

"I know it don't look like it's much but it's mine and I don't want anybody to take it," said Burns as she sat next to her things on Wednesday.

Ricco Tunstall saw her story and said he was moved.

"It just touched me in a way that nothing never touched me," he explained. "First thing I seen on her face was my grandma so I was like I gotta help."

He went to Facebook and started raising money.

He even reconnected with his old childhood friend, Timothy Smith, who wanted to help, too.

"I haven't seen him in 20 years but ya'lls story brought us together--that's right," he said.

They weren't the only ones.

WREG has received dozens of phone calls and emails from viewers, church groups and apartment complexes wanting to help.

Davin Clemons from KWAM 990 Talk Radio started a fundraiser.

He said his mom first saw the story and he knew he needed to help too.

In 24 hours they've raised more than $1,000.

"Right now we have a 'GoFundMe' page on relationshipunleashed.com," he explained.

He said it was everyone's duty to help when someone else was in need.

"We are the beloved community and it is the second commandment of God to love thy neighbor as thy self," he said.

Tunstall hoped this turned out to be a lesson for the community.

"When you think of Memphis, you never think of people coming together to help each other and once we help each other the city will be a better place," he said.

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