Woman sells grandmother’s ring to financially survive the pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) —With many Americans expected to get their COVID-19 relief money this week, there are still plenty of stories that show the kind of financial pain many families are feeling due to the pandemic.

One Indianapolis woman made a deeply personal and difficult decision to sell her grandmother’s wedding ring just to survive financially.

“It hurts my heart,” said Kate Martin.

When 2020 began, Martin never pictured her life like this.

“Just imagine being afraid everyday,” said Martin.

She lost her job in Indianapolis, which provided housing for her and her emotional support dog, back in February. Being college-educated and always employed, she figured she would quickly be back on her feet. However, the pandemic began and shut down the state along with most of her employment options.

“We were homeless for five-and-a-half months,” said Martin.

Now she’s nannying and working in retail, but it wasn’t enough to cover all of her expenses.

“I think almost anyone who has been affected economically by COVID can say that pride goes out the window,” said Martin.

That’s where her grandmother’s engagement ring comes in. Martin said she had no other choice than to sell the ring. In desperation, she made a post about the sale to Facebook Marketplace. She was ready to say goodbye to the family heirloom, offering it for half its value, to anyone who would keep the ring whole.

“They were married for 50 years, they got married actually on Christmas Eve, eve. And, I don’t have anything else from them other than her ring and it has just gotten to a point where I would of course never for fun and giggles sell something so valuable and important, but it is the only thing we have,” said Martin.

Like many people across the country, Martin is resorting to measures she never imagined. The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package with more unemployment benefits is encouraging, but Martin questions whether it is enough.

“I am so glad to have seen the stimulus. Another round is coming for people who are actually in desperation, but for many of us that won’t even cover one month’s rent,” said Martin.

The House of Representatives voted to increase relief payments from $600 to $2,000 this week. Now the choice is in the Senate’s hands. Still, people like Martin are making their own difficult choices.

“I just want somebody who will see it as the treasure it is,” said Martin.

Unexpectedly, Martin said an old colleague decided to give a helping hand this week. They bought the ring and are offering to sell it back when Martin is back on her feet. After selling the ring, Martin is in a better place financially. Now as 2020 comes to an end, there’s hope. Still, the pandemic’s impact won’t end with the year.

“We are far from this being over with the repercussions of what this is doing to people financially,” said Martin.