Pay 6 Forward: Millie Lafreeda from Frederick, Pa.

August 17, 2012 1:34:34 PM PDT
I stood in Phoenixville with my sign, "I'm giving away $600! Ask me how!" And plenty of people did just that.

I explained the rules: you have to give the money to someone in need, but it can't be someone who lives with you or is related to you. It's harder than it looks to think of just the right person on the spot.

Then we met someone who knew exactly whom to help.

"My next door neighbor," said Dan Pearson of Phoenixville, Pa. "She's almost 90. She just moved out of her house because she can't go up and down stairs."

Millie Lafreeda is a widow who lived alone. And the neighbors looked after her.

"She's been struggling financially," said Pearson. "We cook her food and make sure she's eating. That was important."

So we took off to Frederick, Pa., where just last week Millie moved to this retirement community.

"Boy this is a real surprise," she said as we arrived.

Millie said it was hard leaving the home where she lived with her husband until he passed.

"It's always hard, but there comes a time when you have to do it," she said.

Millie grew up on a Pennsylvania farm almost 90 years ago and loved sharing her green thumb with her neighbors. But she really wasn't sure if anyone would come and visit her.

"I really appreciate it to know you thought that much of me," she said to Dan.

"We think world of you," he said. "We miss you very much."

So we paid 6 forward to Dan, and he gave his former neighbor a great gift.

But it wasn't really the money that got her so emotional.

"It means a lot to know that people care," she said, adding that when she moved to the retirement community, "I didn't know who would visit me. But they're here."

Millie's granddaughter, Lorrie McConnell said, "She was worried people wouldn't come and visit her. So it's really great."

I asked Millie how she was going to use the money. She said she was too shocked to even think.

But she was so excited just to get visitors. So we were happy to see her. She turns 90 in couple of weeks.

Happy Birthday, Millie, from Action News!

We also have a new part of our Pay 6 Forward series underway. Just follow this link and tell us how you plan to pay it forward. Action News just might show up to help with your surprise.


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