Pay 6 Forward: Donna in Horsham

March 14, 2012 2:05:53 PM PDT
I went out to a shopping plaza in Horsham and stood outside with my sign, "I'm giving away $600. Ask me how".

We talked to several people and explained the rules: for all of our Pay 6 Forward stories:
*You can't keep it yourself
*You can't be a relative or someone you live with
*The money needs to be a friend or a neighbor or someone from a church group who is going through a particularly hard time.
*They have to be available RIGHT THEN for the surprise!

Donna Madden came out to tell us about a former Giant employee, Debbie Young, whose life turned upside down.

"She has some misfortunes with her family," Donna told us. "Her son passed away. Her husband passed away, and she struggled to raise 3 other children.

"Even in the most upsetting of circumstances she always remains upbeat and tries to keep going."

We knew we wanted to meet Debbie and see if we could help. We knocked on her door and she welcomed us in.

"I thought of you and thought you'd be the perfect candidate," Donna told her friend Debbie. "Because you're very deserving and really struggling."

Debbie showed us the pictures of her beautiful children. There's Elizabeth, Joshua -- who has a heart problem, Zachary -- who is the youngest, and Conner who had liver failure and passed away when he was just 13 years old.

Debbie, whose health problems have forced her out of work, handles this all on her own. Her husband had heart problems and died 8 years ago. Debbie showed us a family photo of them building a big snowman outside of her house, which is now for sale because she can't keep up with the bills. You've got to wonder how she gets up every day and manages to seem so cheery.

"I've got 3 more children and a house and you just get up and you do it," Debbie told us.

"It's not like you don't miss them, but you have to get up and keep going. So that's what you do."

Donna told her friend Debbie, as she handed out the $600, "Oh my God, I hope this helps in some small way."

Even if she had all the money in the world, I think her loss would seem too much to bear. It doesn't really seem right that she has to struggle so much financially after everything she's endured. But she has a spirit that suggests she and her family will be just fine. She really is an inspiration. I'd love to hear what you think on about his, or any Pay 6 Forward story, on my Facebook page.