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Pay It Forward

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Family gets big helping hand thanks to community in Holiday Pay It Forward contest

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 03:06 PM CDT
In the spirit of giving this holiday season, we asked you to Pay it Forward - and you answered our call. One family in our community received the gift of $1,500.

For a year, Miles Bentley with Kill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram and Channel 3's Lena DeFlores have surprised people in our community to help neighbors, friends and even strangers. Together, they've surprised 25 families with $10,000.

For this special time of year, we asked you this question: Who would you pay it forward to?

The Pay it Forward rules still applied. You can't keep it for yourself, can't give it to a relative, or anyone who lives with you. It has to be given to someone who needs a little help.

You sent us hudreds of stories and then voted for the family you wanted us to surprise with $1,500 dollars. One of those stories was submited by James and Julia Drulia who wanted to Pay it Forward to their friends of 15 years, William and Beatrice Stringer.

Two days before Thanksgiving, the Stringer family was sleeping when a fire broke out. It destroyed their home and threatened to take even more.

"We were in bed," Stringer said. "We grabbed the kids, they were in the room where the fire broke out."

They lost everything they'd ever owned, left only with the clothes they wore to bed that night. But still, they felt grateful.

"We're truly blessed to have these children. We are truly blessed."

The Drulias wanted to pay it forward to the Stringers and they'd been trying for a while, then they heard about our special holiday Pay it Forward.

"I just wanted to figure out a way to get them on the list as soon as possible."

The Dulias wanted to help the Stringers any way they could. And so did our viewers, voting for the Stringer family to receive the special gift of $1,500.

Because you wanted to pay it forward to people you never even met, this moment happened because of you.

"Oh my God!," the Stringers exclaimed.

As the girls opened the presents we'd brought for them, Miles Bentley helped Julie pay it forward.

"On behalf of Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, I'd like to give you this: one, two, three...," Miles counted. "Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen hundred dollars." The family jumped in for a hug.

"We really need this. We need the help. We're so blessed, we've had so many people reach out to us."

"A blessing isn't a blessing unless you can pay it forward."

We've got one more surprise. If you think that's the end of our special holiday Pay it Forward, then you don't know us very well! Check back Friday for the surprise!Family gets big helping hand thanks to community in Holiday Pay It Forward contest


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