A Texas single mom whose “thank you” letter to President Obama went viral was merely venting the frustrations of many Americans struggling to pay bills in a down economy, she told BizPac Review.
“Sometimes I’m at the store, and I may have $25 worth of groceries to get through the week,” Yolanda Burroughs Vestal said. “Then you see the person in front of you with nicer things and more food, and they’re swiping the EBT card. It’s hard.”
Vestal attracted the attention of hundreds of thousands of Americans when she wrote a letter “thanking” Obama for forcing Obamacare on hard-working citizens at a time when many are “rob[bing] Peter to pay Paul” just to get by.
She told BizPac Review in an interview Wednesday that she sometimes gets philosophical when writing on Facebook, where she posted the letter.
“It was on my mind I had to pay bills,” Vestal said. “All I could think was, how am I going to make it to the end of the month?”
So she began typing. She needed to vent.
“Have you ever had to put an item or two back at the grocery store, because you didn’t have enough money?” Vestal wrote. “I have.”
A divorced mother of two teenage daughters, Vestal also has a son who lives with his father. While she and her ex-husband work together to do what’s best for their children, Vestal said, the economy has changed, putting a financial strain on both households. She makes too much money to receive assistance, she said, but barely enough to get by.
Vestal said she has been overwhelmed by the support pouring in through her Facebook page. She posted a message – this one of genuine thanks — on her Facebook wall, saying:
I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you again to everyone that has liked, shared, and commented about my letter to the president. The kindness and generosity is such a blessing. I rarely log on to my Facebook from a personal computer, but today I did, only to find hundreds of heartfelt messages from my fellow American’s in my archived message box. Please know I am reading and trying to respond to everyone as best as I can. Know your kind words mean so very much and are greatly appreciated. They brought tears to my eyes. I’m not a political buff. I’m just an average American who struggles just like so many others. God bless each and everyone of you. My God, my children, and now the support of so many amazing folks keeps me striving. Pray pray pray…Gods love never fails!
Vestal has received offers of help, but she said she’s not looking for handouts or charity, and that’s not the reason she wrote the letter.
“I’m not worthy,” she said. “I’m one of millions.”
She merely wanted to express her opinion that legislation pushed by the administration in the last few years is hurting people.
“Right is right, wrong is wrong,” she said. “What they’re doing is wrong.”
Vestal said she’s received a few negative comments, and some critics have made assumptions about her and her children. But she said she replies with, “God bless you,” and moves on to the next message.
The president was in Dallas Wednesday night for two campaign fundraisers – including a private dinner that commanded as much as $32,000 per plate, according to the Dallas News.
“One plate for dinner is equal to a year’s salary for some of us,” Vestal said.