Pay It Forward: Guarding Our Kids

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MOLINE, Illinois - School crossing guards are hitting the intersections again this school year, facing a new season of keeping children safe.

And for one Moline veteran, it's a fifth decade of protection.

Mary Schoeve has been at one Quad City intersection for 40-years, starting in 1973.

It is one of the busiest intersections in Moline.  It's also a crossroads for three schools: a place where Mary Schoeve makes sure kids get to Hawthorne-Irving Elementary, Seton Catholic, and John Deere Middle Schools.

"I'm a people person," says Mary.  "I always have been."

And one person says Mary deserves recognition for all she does each day.

"I recommended you for 'Pay It Forward' because of everything you do for everybody," says Christie Johnston who works nearby at the Metropolitan Labs building in Moline.

"You volunteer for so many people.  I can't even tell you how many, so on behalf of Ascentra Credit Union and Channel 8 and myself, here is 300-dollars."

At a time when schools are becoming more high tech, and traffic is more congested, and drivers more distracted, it's people like Mary who become more important.

Mary has been on duty virtually every school day since March 1973.

"It keeps me young."

She's missed five days: days for her parents' funerals.

"I love this.  I miss the kids when they're gone for the summer.  You know, I really miss the kids."

And it doesn't go unnoticed by Christie Johnston.

"I have never known somebody who volunteers for so many organizations, I could remember only five."

She helps two church groups, a women's shelter, a men's Christian care center, and a place helping teenage girls.   She also helps with rummage sales, quilting bees, and other fundraisers.

And that's on top of her crossing guard duties that has her out here in good weather and bad.  But she does it for her kids.

"They'll come back and they'll give me hugs and say 'Oh you're still here.  Yeah, Yeah.'  It's cool."

Mary was nominated by Christie in our ongoing Ascentra Credit Union "Pay It Forward" program  To nominate someone, just click here and fill out the form.