When it comes to “loving thy neighbor,” 53rd Street A in Moline gets it. Full of lifetime locals, it’s a street where everyone knows everyone. On that street, there are two next-door neighbors who live that way every day.
“That’s the kind of people we are,” says Donna Nicholas. “You help people because you may need help in the end sometime from someone.”
Sitting in Donna’s family room, it’s clear her family is not just built by blood. Her family extends outside the walls of her home… to her neighbor, Paula Hough.
“That was the first person to come to mind,” says Donna, when she heard about WQAD’s Pay It Forward Program.
As Donna faced back problems over the last year, Paula was there.
“She was here day and night to make sure I had my water next to my bed,” says Donna. “She came over every single night and fixed my dinner.”
When Donna dealt with tragedy, Paula was there.
“Lots of times that I was really down and crying, she was right here.”
And as the two got closer, Donna found out Paula was there for others, too.
“I kept hearing more and more that she’d pick up clients that she took care of at her shop and bring them to her shop, cut their hair…” says Donna. “The more I hear about the woman from friends I’ve met… She’s amazing. She is a selfless person.”
A selfless person that has been through her own challenges. Paula lost her husband to cancer nearly a year ago. She also raises her granddaughter and helps out her father every night. Still, Paula finds time to help others and to thank her for helping so many, Donna is “paying it forward” by visiting the beauty salon in their backyard where Paula works and surprising her with $300.
“She’s just a real good neighbor,” says Paula. “She’s had some back trouble and I’ve just told her I’ll always be there and help her out and do what I can do and we’ve just become closer and closer and closer. I always think of others first. [Donna] is a crazy, wonderful woman. She’s my best friend. I thank her so much.”
For more information on how you can “pay it forward” with the help of News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union, go to WQAD.com and cilck on the “Contests” page.