In Your Community

ABC7 Pay It Forward: Woman who helps sick children gets $500, toys in help

Monday, December 24, 2012

It often takes us several hours walking around in parking lots with our Pay It Forward sign to find our story. But at a mall packed with holiday shoppers, it was a totally different experience.

We found our story inside the Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos in just 10 seconds - a record. Hair stylist Corie Jones recognized our sign from TV and rushed to meet us.

"I want to pay it forward to my salon owner, Loyda Moore," Jones said.

Jones says his boss is constantly taking care of everyone. She's in the process of adopting her great nephew, Tayvon, whose parents are no longer around.

Her grandson, Amari, suffers from a rare lung disease that's left him with pneumonia nine times. Amari hasn't been allowed in school since 2009 because his immune system was too weak to be around other kids. Amari has basically lived at Millers Children's Hospital Long Beach for the last two years. Moore created a holiday toy drive at her home collecting Christmas presents for patients hospitalized during the holidays.

"With the $500, I think she would use it on the kids," said Jones, a Compton resident, as we put the $500 cash in his hands. "She's going to be so happy when I give this to her."

We headed to Moore's salon, Moore Creations, in Carson. Moore had just left, though, so cosmetologist Deron Cole placed a frantic call.

"Get somebody to drop you off , it's an emergency," Cole told Moore.

Moore arrived. I introduced myself and explained our Pay It Forward campaign and Jones handed her the $500.

"I'm just stunned, I'm just shocked," Moore said."I'm surprised, I'm grateful, I'm everything."

Jones had some strong feelings, too.

"I felt like I had actually done something in life right, that I made a change," Jones said.

Moore said she will use the money to buy even more toys for sick kids. Thanks to the new money in her pocket, she can also afford a Christmas present for Tayvon, who moved into her home this week.

Amari was just cleared to play with other kids and return to school for the first time in three years. As he grows up, Moore hopes to teach him the importance of paying it forward.

"You have to open your heart and give and don't expect [something] in return," she said. "I've always been that person. I just love to give from my heart."

When we heard that toy donations were running low and it was possible not every kid at the hospital would receive a gift, we couldn't accept it. So, we teamed up with Los Angeles County firefighters from Station 10 to surprise Moore at her home one more time. We arrived with presents, some of the many donated by ABC7 viewers to the Spark of Love Toy Drive.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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