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      Winter Texan who builds homes for families in La Joya ISD honored

      Winter Texan John Surkan awarded cash for kindness

      John Surkan is considered a guardian angel by people in the La Joya Independent School District.

      The Winter Texan from Canada chooses to use his brief time each year in the Rio Grande Valley to help hundreds of students and staff with his knack for building things.

      "Some people play golf, this is my hobby and I enjoy making a little better life for families," John said.

      He isn't one to brag, but his kindness is transforming lives with the homes he builds and remodels.

      10 families are living more comfortably thanks to his humble help, according to the district.

      "When you first come to the place and there's six sleeping in one room and you supply them with three bedrooms and now they only have to share with a sister or brother... it gives them a new beginning and feels pretty good," John explained.

      John works with Marissa Saenz, who's part of the district's parental involvement team, to identify families in need.

      Marissa wants to Pay it 4Ward for his selflessness.

      "I wanted to thank you on behalf of La Joya ISD to thank you for everything you do for our families," she told him. "You build homes for them. You remodel. You do ramps for our kids who are handicapped. Anytime that I call you, you are always there for us. You do this out of the kindness of your heart and you never expect anything back. On behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News we would like to Pay it 4Ward. Here's $400."

      John says he's never been recognized in this way for his work.

      "It is a surprise!" he said. "It's hard not to have a dry eye. I am retired but... that's the way I was brought up. Work never hurts anybody. Everybody could use a helping hand."

      It's the type of kindness our Pay it 4Ward partner, Bill Jones with FNB Insurance Agency, hopes will inspire others to do good.

      "Everybody has a unique talent like John," Bill said. "He put that talent to great use. If they everyone put that to good use and helps Pay it 4Ward... what a wonderful world we would live in."

      John may never know the full impact of his kindness, but at La Joya ISD he will forever be a "Winter Husky" at heart. Click here to join Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook PageClick here to follow Ryan Wolf on TwitterClick here to nominate somebody for the Pay it 4Ward prize