RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Pregnant at 15, incarcerated at 19, admitted former "wild child," Elizabeth Olivis served her time and with the help of a stranger, began to rebuild her life. Today, she's recognizing the stranger she says became a role model, mentor and friend with a $300 Act of Kindness.
"My life now, I can say it's 100 percent better," said Elizabeth.
For Elizabeth Olivis, the turning point was a chance encounter at a GRTC bus stop.
"I was waiting for a bus to go look for a job."
She struck up a conversation with a stranger...
"I asked her where was she going , she was like, 'I'm looking for a job,' I say, 'I'm going the same way too' and I told her the place down the hill is having a grand opening, let's go down there, we were both hired."
...and a friendship sparked.
"She told me that she was going to take me around to help me find somewhere to live."
Elizabeth soon had her very own apartment, after years behind bars.
"I did three years in Fluvanna Correctional Center."
After serving her sentence, Elizabeth wanted a new start. Her new friend offered encouragement.
"She always tells me something positive, she motivates me. If I call her and be like, 'I'm stressed out," she always say something that make me feel better. I was very surprised cause you don't find too many people that's willing to help you these days."
Now Elizabeth's offering a surprise.
Sabrina: "One-hundred, two-hundred, three-hundred dollars for your role model."
On the short walk to Kimberly's house, Elizabeth tells me about her now 16-year-old son and her goals.
Elizabeth: "To open up a restaurant and see my son off to college."
Sabrina: "Does Kimberly have any idea you're doing this?"
Elizabeth: "No, she think I'm coming over to have lunch with her."
(Kimberly comes outside)
Sabrina: "We're with Channel 12 and you're our Acts of Kindness recipient!"
Kimberly: "Oh, thank you!"
Elizabeth: "You is my big role model, and you keep my spirits up, and I just want to say I thank you for everything."
Kimberly: "I love you for that."
Elizabeth: "I love you too, and I want to count out to you—"
Elizabeth: "One-hundred, two-hundred, three-hundred."
Kimberly: "Thank you, thank you so much!"
Kimberly invites us in so I could learn more about that day at the bus stop and what made her reach out to help a stranger.
Kimberly: "I always wanted a sister, so I got one!"
Sabrina: "What do you think about this little Act of Kindness recognition?"
Kimberly: "It's wonderful, I was raised to always help everyone, so it feels good to have someone to recognize that."
She's got immediate plans for the cash.
Kimberly: "Pay a bill (laughs)."
If there's an organization or individual you believe deserves an Act of Kindness, e-mail me. Remember, it cannot be a relative.
Send your nomination to email@example.com.