La Feria woman honored for work with troops overseas
They leave their homes, their families and their lives behind so that we can enjoy our very freedom.
Life for soldiers overseas isn't easy.
But one woman in La Feria works hard to make sure they know we care.
Her name is Sharron West.
She's called outside her home by a neighbor who claimed to have supplies for her care packages that she sends to troops overseas.
Sharron has no idea it's all part of the Pay it 4Ward surprise.
"I'm trying to reach Sharron," Action 4's Ryan Wolf said in the street outside her home.
"This would be Sharron," she said with a shocked look on her face.
To understand why Action 4 News is here, it's important to highlight Sharron's generous work.
She fills care packages with love.
Well, more like a hug.
It's the namesake for Sharron's Palmera Park HUGS group in La Feria.
They pack snacks, toiletries and games for troops.
About a hundred boxes have been shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2007.
Their work has been recognized by the military and even military moms whose loved ones have been touched by the kindness.
Barbara Barbro nominated her neighbor for the Pay it 4Ward prize.
"Sharon, the things that you do for other people is so important," she told her. "The servicemen, they just love what you do. They appreciate it. And I did read the letter from a mother of a soldier that you sent a package too and we love you Sharron. On behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News, I want to Pay it 4Ward."
"Oh my Gosh!" Sharron said. This is unbelievable."
Barbara told her friend to hold out her hand.
"$100, $200, $300, $400!" she counted out in cash.
"Wow!" Sharron said in response. "Thank you so very much. We appreciate this more than we can ever say."
Sharron had a step child in the military many years ago.
The care packages are a symbol of gratitude for all military service, according to her.
"We just want to let them know that we care, we love them and they're over there serving us in harm TMs way," Sharron explained. "It's a small piece of what we can do back here."
Karen Gonzalez with FNB Insurance provides the cash for kindness as a Pay it 4Ward partner.
"We at FNB Insurance Agency like to highlight citizens in the community that go above and beyond and that's exactly what Sharron has done," Karen said. "She goes above and beyond by putting her time and effort and money into creating these care packages that remind our troops overseas that they are thought of and loved and that's really what the Pay it 4Ward program is all about."
Sharron credits all members of HUGS as heroes.
But it's her initiative, kindness and caring that truly deserves a hug.
Large care packages can cost more than $60 to fully stock and ship overseas.
The Palmera Park HUGS group holds bake sales to partially fund the project.
Sharron will use her own money to ensure the boxes are sent.
She plans to use her $400 Pay it 4Ward to ship even more in the near future.
If you would like to help the organization, send donations to: Lee & Sharron West of 617 N Anaqua St, La Feria TX 78559