LEWISTON, ID- This time last year, Sammy Weston fell on hard times when she moved back to the valley from Las Vegas.
She and her daughter, Riley, took their one-way tickets and hopped on the Greyhound Bus to Lewiston.
"When I first got here, I didn't know how I was going to feed my child. I didn't know what clothes she was going to wear; she was in dirty clothes for three days when we first got here,” Weston said. “I was panicked," she said.
She ended up finding resources like the YWCA, Community Action Food Bank, and Quality Behavioral Health to name a few.
"It's a community that pulls together when people need help and that's shown time and time again," Weston said.
Although these resources helped her get back on her feet, she still needed more help.
"I had to keep going. I just knew it,” she said. “I couldn't let my daughter be out on the street. I couldn't let her go without eating," Weston said.
She said thought to herself, ‘there has to be more people willing to give, with just as many in need.’
That’s when she created a Facebook page titled, ‘Local Moms and Dads Pay it Forward Together.’
"15 of my childhood friends that I've known for years, I put in that group and they started adding people,” she said.
It's currently up to almost to 1,500 members. People in the Valley gifting anything from clothes and toys to lodging, food, and even helping with jobs.
"Originally, I wanted like focus to be moms, but then I was like, 'no, dads need help too,’” she said.
“Then pay it forward, just because that's what it is. You do something out of the kindness of your heart without wanting anything in return and you ask for it and most of the time you get help," Weston said.
While she continues to advocate for others, she's working two jobs and taking care of a daughter with special needs.
Although she has help, Riley has 10 appointments a week.
"We just have a lot of people that are there for her and for me and if it wasn't for that, I'd be in big trouble," Weston said.
Now, the trouble is the car she was gifted, broke down; forcing her to borrow cars from friends.
But she's holding on to faith in hopes that her story will help others.
"That they're not alone, even when it feels like nobody understands and nobody gets it. there are other parents out there with special needs, you just have to find them," Weston said.
Weston has been nominated for a new car in a local contest.
If you'ld like to help, all you have to do is go to Arrotta's Automax Facebook and like the post nominating Sammy to win the free car. You can also share it with others.
There's also 65 families still in need of a sponsor for Christmas. If you'd like to help send local moms and dads pay it forward a request and speak with an administrator on ways you can give back. Your sponsorship can remain anonymous.
Weston said the Pay it Forward page was once public, but due to inappropriate requests and behavior, they now place it on private so they can monitor the posts.