Pay It Forward surprises woman who brings music to her community

CLINTON, Iowa -- The sound of music fills the halls at the Gateway Area Community Center.

“I started volunteering here at the community center in February and she's just a bright smile,” said Theresa Rieger.

As soon as she started, Theresa noticed an extremely hardworking volunteer named Amanda Carlson.

“She will buy instruments for these children that cannot afford [them] and she'll do free lessons,” Rieger said. “For someone that young and bright to give so much back to our community."

Carlson works to gives kids in the community a chance to get their hands on an instrument and play.

Rieger decided it was time to give a little help back to Carlson and nominated her for WQAD's Pay it Forward contest with Ascentra Credit Union.

"Ascentra Credit Union is about listening, caring and doing what's right," Katie Riessen, with Ascentra Credit Union said. "Amanda's actions and her heartfelt spirit toward the youth in our community is exactly what that motto stands for."

"I also live in this community and I love knowing that our kids have such a positive outlet to turn to when they need it."

With $300, Rieger went to Pay It Forward, careful not to disrupt Carlson's class.

"Amanda, we would like to Pay it Forward from WQAD and Ascentra for all you do in the community and the kids,” Rieger said. "Thank you thank you for all you do we are so blessed to have you."

Carlson will put the money to good use buying instruments, music stands and music. With the money, spending class time to fix up old instruments will be a thing of the past.

“When I was younger we couldn't really afford to pay the price of lessons so I think it's really important for the kids that don't really identify with band instruments to have an opportunity to play those instruments that they might want to play,” Carlson said.

For her students, Carlson said the community center always takes donations of "anything" from music stands and chairs to instruments.

If you know of someone doing good things in your community, someone who shows the core values of Ascentra Credit Union, which are Listening, Caring and Doing What's Right, why not Pay it Forward?

Nominate them here.

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