Landlord cares for woman TMs health before house payments called ~angel TM
The Torres family feared their American dream of home ownership would be ripped away from them.
Luis is out of work.
Mae-Ling has no insurance to battle Lupus, an autoimmune disease.
They both have four young mouths to feed.
The family recently fell behind on a number of their house payments at 24 Estero Drive in Brownsville.
But instead of taking away the keys, Refugia Zuniga, who financed the home to them in 2008, put their minds at ease.
The angel in disguise, as she's described, put the house payments on hold.
She even replaced their roof which had been leaking, at no charge.
Mae-Ling nominated Refugia as a surprise for the Pay it 4Ward prize. "I tell you thank you and you're a blessing to us," she told her outside the home. "You're an angel. We can't thank you enough. I wish there were a lot of people with the same opportunity that we have. And if it wasn't for you and Mr. Zuniga, we wouldn't have our home. We want to Pay it 4Ward."
Karen Gonzalez is secretly standing by as a Pay it 4Ward partner with FNB Insurance.
The agency pays cash for kindness on the weekly program.
"You've proven there are still people in the world that will stop at nothing to help others in need," Karen explained. "So on behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News, please put out your hand."
Refugia refused to accept the prize money.
"I don't want any money," she said.
"You have to take it," Mae-Ling shouted.
"I don't do it for money, I do it for The Lord," Refugia repeated before giving Mae-Ling a hug. "I do it for The Lord. I don't want the money. I do it for anyone that needs help, not for money. Just to get you well, that's the most important. Cause you have four children and the children depend on you."
Refugia says she's humbled by the surprise nomination.
It takes 10 minutes to convince her to accept the prize.
"Here's $400," Karen said.
Refugia's message to others is to give from the heart.
The reward, she says, is priceless.
She plans to use the money to buy turkeys to feed the poor on Thanksgiving.