BETTENDORF, Iowa — Raina Powers works at LeClaire Manufacturing and Mickey's Country Cafe on the weekends. She doesn't have a lot of spare time, but she makes the most of the time she has by giving back to people and animals in need. That's why Raina's former co-worker at Mickey's nominated her for WQAD's Pay it Forward Contest.
"She's just an amazing person," said Tammy Burns, who nominated Raina, "If she's got a dollar she's giving it to you if you need it."
Ascentra Credit Union sponsors the Pay it Forward Contest.
"Tammy, thank you for nominating Raina," said Victoria Keninger, who works at Ascentra Credit Union. "[Raina] is a great example of what we believe in at Ascentra: listening, caring and doing what's right. On behalf of Ascentra Credit Union, I would like to present you with $300."
The surprise happened at LeClaire Manufacturing on Wednesday, February 20 in the front lobby of the machine shop. Raina's co-workers called her to the lobby, for what what Raina surely thought was a work-related matter. In fact, she was about to get a big surprise.
With Tammy waiting for her in the lobby, Raina arrived, and questioned what was going on.
"On behalf of Ascentra Credit Union and WQAD, for everything that you do for everyone, we would like to Pay it Forward, $300, for all the charitable things you do," said Tammy, giving Raina $300 cash.
"Oh thank you, oh my God! I love you, I love you, that's so sweet!" said Raina to Tammy.
"It's pretty overwhelming," said Raina, after the surprise. "I am very, very ecstatic and thankful and grateful that [Tammy] even thought of me, I was not expecting this at all."
Raina has collected items for homeless, domestic violence shelters and animals in the past.
"You work so hard for everything that you have, but you never hesitate to help someone in need and for that you make me strive to be a better person, because you're amazing," said Tammy.
On one occasion, Raina recalls seeing a family in need at Jeff's Car Corner Annual Turkey Dinner in West Davenport. She proceeded to collect dozens of items for that family.
Ahead of Easter, Raina and her "Easter Bunny Helpers Group" put together dozens of Easter baskets bound for homeless and domestic violence shelters.
Raina says giving back is personal to her. She says she's needed help in the past and hasn't received it. Now, this $300 can go towards helping to make a difference in the lives of others.
"I don't know I just I can't help myself but want to," said Raina, regarding why she likes to give back, "I like to get people in a better spot, seeing them feel better and seeing that hope restored, when there might not have been much prior."
If you know someone who is doing great things in our community, nominate them for the WQAD Pay it Forward Contest sponsored by Ascentra Credit Union.