Family in financial hardship gets help to visit soldier in Georgia

Starlite Burger owner Nora Sanchez, recipient of the Pay it 4Ward prize

Starlite Burger on East University Drive in Edinburg is a fixture in the community.

Over the last 31 years, the restaurant has perfected the patty and created a family atmosphere that keeps customers coming back.

Perhaps nobody knows that more than Mary Garza.

"I just want to thank you for all that you've done for us," Mary told the restaurant's owner. "You've been there for us when my son was sick and I'm so happy what you're doing for me and my husband."

6 years ago, Mary's son, Jose Luis Garza Jr., was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The owners at Starlite Burger learned about his parents' financial struggles as regulars at the restaurant.

They gave the family hundreds of dollars to help with transportation costs to Corpus Christi for medical care.

Just recently, the same business offered to help fundraise on behalf of the Garza family to raise money so the kids, including Jose Jr. who's now 8, can visit their dad who enlisted in the Army.

The trip to Georgia for Family Day at Fort Benning costs around $2,000, according to Mary.

That's why she wants to Pay it 4Ward to owner Nora Sanchez who's surprised at the restaurant with $400.

"We're dying to see him," Mary said about her husband. "And if it wasn't for you it wouldn't be possible. You helped us a lot. And from the bottom of my heart I really want to thank you. On behalf of Action 4 News and FNB Insurance, I want to Pay it 4Ward."

Mary then hands her the money as part of the Pay it 4Ward prize for her selflessness.

"Thank you so much," Nora said while giving her a hug.

"Because of you I'm going to be able to see my husband," Mary told her. "You know how much we miss him."

Her three young children share their message of gratitude as well.

"Thank you!" they told Nora.

So does Karen Gonzalez with FNB Insurance.

The agency provides the cash for kindness as a Pay it 4Ward partner.

We're so incredibly happy that we can tell your story and let people know there are people like you that help others just for the sake of helping and really expect nothing in return," Karen said. She went on to say, "And that's exactly what the Pay it 4Ward program is all about."

Nora says she's never been thanked in such a special way in her entire life.

"Nobody has ever done this," she said. "It did impact us, that's why we're helping them because we want him to see the kids. They're really attached to their dad. And we did whatever we could to help them."

Family Day on the base in Georgia is scheduled for June 21st.

Starlite Burger continues to sell candy at the restaurant in support of the trip.

Click here to join Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook Page Click here to follow Ryan Wolf on Twitter

Click here to nominate somebody for the Pay it 4Ward prize