• Furloughed Memphis single mother 'blessed' by 'The Real' as government shutdown continues

    By: Winnie Wright

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - It has been three-and-a-half weeks since the government shutdown began. 

    For many of the 800,000 affected federal employees, savings are getting low and times are getting hard. Four days before Christmas, many of those employees were told not to come back to work the next day.

    Brittney Beard – a Memphis resident – was losing sleep, wondering how she was going to make her payments. That is until a national TV show stepped in to help. 

    “I’m just a little small-town girl from Memphis, Tennessee, and I was on ‘The Real,’ a national TV show today. They blessed me,” said Beard.


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    Beard has been an officer with the IRS for four years. She said the shutdown is her first, and something she did not expect.

    The single mother was forced to make difficult decisions. 

    “I can’t go to my creditor and say, ‘Hey, I’m not working right now. The government is shut down right now, let me get back to you when I get that check.’ I can’t,” Beard said. “So, what do you do?”

    On Tuesday, Beard was surprised with $5,000 from the hosts of The Real as part of their efforts to support those affected by the shutdown. 

    With a little cushion to help ease the burden, Beard told FOX13 she is just ready for the shutdown to be over. 

    “I love my job. I’m ready to get back to work,” said Beard. “I’m ready to put the stress behind me. I’m ready to move forward.”

    Meanwhile, the IRS is recalling about 46,000 of its employees furloughed by the shutdown – nearly 60 percent of its workforce – to handle tax returns and pay out refunds. 

    Those employees will not be paid for their work. 

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