RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Time to showcase the "12 on Your Side Acts of Kindness" where we give someone $300 to pay it forward to someone or some group in need. The recipient cannot be a relative, and the money must be passed along in one hour. This week we see how even the heaviest burdens can seem lighter, just by knowing someone cares.
As a Customer Service Rep. Donna Lewter walks us through the vast plant at West End Printing, she tells us how much she misses the knife operator who cuts up huge plats of paper and lights up the workplace with her positive energy and upbeat personality.
"I go through the plant a lot on my rounds and I met her, and everyday she'd have this big smile on her face," said Donna. "Happy and in a good mood, and just you know she makes everybody around her happy. And when she ran into these challenges I just wanted to do something to make her smile."
Donna says last year her co-worker Diane Nietz was hit with a double whammy that took her smile.
"Very depressed or has been depressed, so it's kind of up and down," said Donna.
It took her off the job.
"She hasn't had any income," Donna said.
It started with a life threatening diagnosis...
"Breast cancer. She had both those removed and then she had surgery, complications and more surgery," Donna said.
Months later another loss, Diane's oldest son Bryan.
"He passed away about six months ago. He committed suicide," Donna said. "After her son died she just seemed to lose heart."
Donna hopes an Act of Kindness will help ease her friend's heartache. She says Diane's actually in the building, she was asked to come to fill out some paperwork in accounting. We made our way to accounting, all the way at the far end of the building. A few doorways and hallways later we walk in to find Diane in a corner focused on those forms until she sees us.
Sabrina Squire: I'm Sabrina Squire from Channel 12. This is Matt Boyce.
Diane Nietz: Yes, I recognize you. What are y'all doing up here.
Sabrina Squire: We've got some paperwork to take care of.
Diane Nietz: Ok, that's nice.
Donna passes on our paper currency.
Donna Lewter: Because you're always smiling and you always just make my day go better, when I'd walk by your knife. I thought if anybody needed a little help after all the physical and mental challenges you've been with lately that it would be you.
Diane Nietz: Oh thank you so much.
Donna Lewter: It's $300 and I love you.
Diane Nietz: Thank you I love you too. This was so nice.
Donna Lewter: Oh you're welcome. You've been through so much.
She still going through, another operation in a few days.
"It's scary and it's painful," said Diane.
Friends and family are helping her get through every day.
Diane Nietz: I'm just overwhelmed.
Sabrina Squire: Will this help?
Diane Nietz: Yes ma'am. I can pay my water, gas and electric.
She says she is getting stronger, getting her hair back, and getting her smile back.