News 8 “Pays It Forward” to Military Mom

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When Durant Dad, Scott Rhoades, deployed to Afghanistan in March, his family turned sadness into service.

"Michele has been really involved in Girl Scouts and her daughter, Abby, is in Girl Scouts and she thought it was a great idea to send cookies over to the troops and to her husband," says Colleen Brown, who says she is nominating her neighbor for being tough during tough times.

"All of a sudden, you're a single parent family with these three kids," says Colleen. "I don't think she ever imagined it would be this many cookies. She planned on sending them over out of her pocket by paying for the shipping, but if there's someone who's doing something so good... Why should they have to pay for that?"

Now, she doesn't. With $300 in hand, Colleen crossed the street to Michele's house to surprise her with the cash... "I nominated you for the WQAD 'Pay it Forward' because I love what you and Abby did with collecting cookies and I wanted to be able to help with the shipping, so here's $300 from WQAD to your family to pay for it."

Inside Michele's house, we find a family room full of thin mints, shortbread, and more... all ready for Rhoades.

"He's a good dad to these kids," says Michele. "He has a hard time being away. She has a hard time, too."

That "she" is their daughter, Abby... a third grader with little to say, but with great heart. It's their "Pay it Forward" effort together that has shipped hundreds of boxes of cookies overseas. Michele says the $300 will help send even more.

"I've still got 20 or more cases here so it will definitely help to save the troop and myself from taking care of it," says Michele.

For more information on how you can "Pay it Forward" with the help of News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union, click on the "Contests" tab at the top of