Woman who donates home to fire victims recognized for selflessness
It hasn't been all smiles for Cassandra Serna.
In an email to Action 4 News she shares what life's been like as a financially-struggling, divorced mother of 3, who was once evicted from her apartment.
But every time Cassandra says she's been knocked down, her friend Norma Castillo has been there to pick her back up with money, rides, food and perhaps most important of all, friendship.
Cassandra wants to Pay it 4Ward.
"She has a kind heart and I want to recognize that she's a sincere person and that you can have friends like that," she said.
Norma is a teacher at Longoria Middle School in Edinburg.
The superintendent, Dr. Rene Gutierrez, calls her to the library for a supposed meeting where co-workers are really in on the Pay it 4Ward surprise.
"Oh my God!" Norma said when she saw Cassandra next to an Action 4 News camera.
"I know you don't know what's going on but I called Channel 4 News and I wanted to let everyone know how much you mean to me and how much you've done for me and my family," Cassandra said.
But it's not just kindness towards her that she wants to reward.
Norma donated her family's home to victims of a house fire.
Her family is now living in a trailer until their new home is finished.
A tearful Cassandra calls her one in a million.
"On behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News, I want to Pay it 4Ward and give you $400."
Her co-workers give Norma a big round of applause in support of her kindness.
"How do you feel?" Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked.
"Surprised," Norma responded. "I'm just surprised. I would have never expected anything like this. It's just the way I was brought up. My father and mother... this is what they taught us. they taught us to be good to one another and give."
FNB Insurance Spokesperson Jose Carlos De La Colina shares why Norma is a shining example for the Pay it 4Ward program.
"You're a wonderful person," he said to her. "Thank you very much for leading by example. FNB Insurance and Action 4 News are proud to Pay it 4Ward to you."
Norma plans to use her $400 to treat herself to a show.
She joked how Whoopi Goldberg is coming to the Valley soon.