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Pay It Forward: A Shopaholic With A Cause

DAVENPORT, IOWA - Barb Montgomery calls herself a "Shopaholic," but we are calling her a "Shopaholic with a Cause."

For Barb, it's not day unless she's donating.

"I shop everywhere," she explained. "I go to Goodwill. I go to Salvation Army. I go to The Center on Brady Street. I go everywhere to find the best deal."

"She mentioned to us that she just has so much respect for those who serve in the military and the fact that many of them come back and there just aren't job opportunities or it's a struggle for them to re accumulate to civilian life, she feels they deserve all the help we can give them," said Volunteer, Charlet Key.

That's how Charlet learned about the "Have a Heart for the Homeless" Luncheon. The 4th annual event took place in February 2017 and raised thousands of dollars for homeless veterans at the Humility of Mary Shelter in Davenport and Christian Care in Rock Island.

"30% of men at Christian Care are veterans," said Barb. "At Humility of Mary, which has a much bigger population, 20% of their men are veterans. That's a fairly large percentage of men."

"There should be no homeless veterans," she said during an interview with WQAD News 8 at her event in February. "But in reality, there are, so I have worked at this and built this every year."

It's for that hard work that Charlet, and another Volunteer - Sally Doran - are surprising Barb by Paying It Forward with the help of WQAD News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union:

"We have such a good time at the February event with you and all the other volunteers and we just said - this is a woman who deserves this kind of assistance because you Pay It Forward every day," said Charlet during the surprise presentation.

Barb serves, because her father did. However, he also suffered. After fighting in World War II, he fought Shell Shock - what we know now as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

That's why her "Have a Heart for the Homeless" Luncheon is so important and with an extra $300, she said it can grow more and help more.

"I had almost 40 volunteers this year and that's a lot of people and I think it will always grow," said Barb. "Next year, I envision many more people attending, many more people becoming involved and that's what it's all about."

The 5th Annual "Have a Heart for the Homeless" Luncheon will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at CASI in Davenport, Iowa.