Cardinals player helps Mesa woman in a jam The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Cardinals player helps Mesa woman in a jam

Cardinals player helps Mesa woman in a jam
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By Zach Alvira, Tribune Sports Editor

Danielle Ferguson thought she was out of options and in a mode of panic.

As a hairdresser, Ferguson rents a chair at The Bespoke Salon in Old Town Scottsdale and as the coronavirus began to spread, the owners closed to lessen the risk of the hairdressers and clients getting sick.

“I freaked out,” Ferguson said. “I’m a single mom and I don’t have any help. But the salon owner has asthma and I have family who have autoimmune diseases and pulmonary issues, and I didn’t want to risk them getting sick.”

Ferguson has remained isolated in her Mesa apartment since the closure, only leaving when necessary out of precaution for her and her 10-month old daughter.

“It’s hard because I don’t have a pandemic savings account, I guess you can call it,” Ferguson said. “With having really nothing to my name and having to probably go without working for six weeks, there was an unbelievable amount of stress and anxiety on my shoulders.”

Ferguson was scrolling through her Facebook timeline when she came across a post that included a tweet from Arizona Cardinals and ESPN broadcaster Dave Pasch.

Pasch encouraged Phoenix-area families to reach out to him if they were struggling to pay bills. Within a few hours, Pasch said, his inbox was full of messages from families in need.

As of March 24, Pasch said hundreds of Phoenix families had been helped in some way, including Ferguson.

“I thought, ‘he’s probably not going to reach out to me, but I’ll do it, something is telling me to do it so I’m going to do it,’” Ferguson said. “He wrote me back later on in the day and he asked me what my immediate needs were.”

Ferguson told Pasch she was having trouble with her rent, electricity and car payment. He quickly responded, asking her for more details about her rent payment and later offered to cover her March payment.

After sending Pasch information about her apartment, he sent a picture of the envelope containing her rent payment.

“I was looking for like $10 or $20, just something to help with groceries,” Ferguson said. “I was not expecting what he did.”

Ferguson, in many ways, believes there was a higher power looking out for her but believes it was her late mother, Dolores, who made the most impact.

“I lost my mom 10 years ago to cancer and she’s had a big hand in my life with little blessings here and there,” Ferguson said. “I feel like this was her helping me out.” 

With her rent paid, Ferguson could purchase food. Luckily, she had stocked up on diapers and formula ahead of time.

Ferguson still remains uncertain about what is to come in the immediate future, especially with her salon likely shut down for several more weeks.

She remains concerned about other payments such as her car and groceries in the future.

But even with her own struggles still on the horizon, Ferguson found ways to pay it forward just like Pasch did for her.

“I saw this older man who lives four or five apartments over, and he was walking to his car and I heard him mumbling under his breath something about toilet paper,” Ferguson said. “I asked if he needed help and told him I had toilet paper and would get him a few rolls.”

She hopes others will see the good in helping each other out during difficult times.

“I don’t have money to offer but I have toilet paper,” Ferguson said. “If I can spare some so an older man doesn’t have to go out and fight crowds, I’m sure his family will be grateful he doesn’t have to go out and run the risk of getting sick.”  γ

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