Struggling pensioner Phyllis Reid receives generous donations after sharing story

Recently Newshub shared the story of Phyllis Reid, a 90-year-old pensioner struggling to pay for rent and food. 

Phyllis lives off the bare basics to be able to pay bills, and even that's at a stretch. The story was part of a wider piece on the growing number of elderly who are still renting with only the pension to rely on as income.

Many Newshub viewers were so concerned by Phyllis' plight they wanted to help and did so in the most beautiful way.

It was impossible not to be moved by Phyllis' story. Living off food she says is similar to what she ate during the great depression.

The 90-year-old also told Newshub about the loneliness she faces, relying on her soft toys for company.

As soon as Phyllis' story was broadcast, the messages started pouring in.

Viewers from all over New Zealand emailed and contacted Newshub on social media offering everything from home-cooked meals to supermarket vouchers.

All the messages carried the same question: What can we do to help Phyllis?

Newshub passed the messages on to charity Age Concern and this week, they paid her a visit. They came armed with generous donations from kind Kiwis.

"Oh bless their heart," Phyllis said, looking at the donations.

"So many people saw you on TV and wanted to help," a card Phyllis received read.

"The $50 Countdown voucher is for you to buy your favourite fresh meat," said another. 

Strangers also deposited $1400 into a bank account for Phyllis and one woman even offered to make her a home-cooked meal every week.

"You've given me hope and a realisation that people do care out there and that's all we need."

Phyllis believes the reason her story had such an impact is because she told the truth. She gave the full picture of what some pensioners can experience mentally and financially.

"If it's not in front of your nose and you know about it, how do you know? So you've got to put it out there."

Age Concern Auckland chief executive Kevin Lamb says the response has been overwhelming and he's grateful for the care shown.

But he wants people to remember there are many other senior citizens who face the same challenges as Phyllis. He says help can be as simple as checking in on an elderly neighbour.

"Popping over and asking if they need anything. It makes the world of difference to people," Lamb says.

It did to Phyllis

"You've given me a wonderful buzz to know that there are caring people out there. Thank you so much to all you people, for what you've done and bless your big hearts."

Watch the full video above.