Pay It Forward visits generous activities director at Davenport nursing home

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- The activities director at a nursing home shows why her giving spirit is touching a lot of lives each day.

Deb Gonzales offers some food for thought during a recent trivia game at Accordius Health at St. Mary's.

"The way to a man's heart is through his - stomach," she quizzed residents.

There's nothing trivial about her two decades at work here.  Still, it's clear that this is much more than a job.

"It's more like being with my family," she said.  "This is family to me."

That includes using her own money to buy prizes and supplies.

"I know she goes above and beyond, buying a lot of those gifts herself because she doesn't have a big budget," said Kathy Christensen, who nominated her.

That's why Alvaro Macias from Ascentra Credit Union stopped by with a special presentation.

"Kathy, thank you for nominating Deb," he said.  "She constantly goes above and beyond, making sure that everybody here at the nursing home not only feels good, but looks good.  For that reason, I'd like to present you with $300, so that you may Pay It Forward."

Moments later, Deb gets a big surprise at work.

"On behalf of WQAD News Eight and Ascentra Credit Union, here's $300 to Pay It Forward for all the things you do," Kathy said.  "For all the other things to help with gifts, I love you."

Deb will turn around and Pay It Forward to the residents.  It's a role that means so much.

"I am their daily contact, their reality of what is happening," she continued.  "We try to give them the best quality of life."

"They're just happy somebody like her is here that cares and will  take them to different things," Kathy added.

This Pay It Forward sends an important message to Deb, who goes above and beyond each day.

"There's people out here that care about other people and for our communities," she concluded.

At this nursing home, it's a very healthy outlook.

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