Strangers pay it forward to help elderly Greer woman - FOX Carolina 21

Strangers pay it forward to help elderly Greer woman

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The group raised money to pay for Mills' Greer Commission of Public Works bill. (Feb. 15, 2013/FOX Carolina) The group raised money to pay for Mills' Greer Commission of Public Works bill. (Feb. 15, 2013/FOX Carolina)
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

At the Stomping Grounds coffee shop in Greer, the cocoa is hot, the lattes as well as the conversation are flowing and so is the spirit of giving.

Becky Pickett and her friends are regulars at Stomping Grounds. But before Pickett stopped in for a chat Friday night, something special happened at another shop.

"The lady in front of me had paid for it already," Pickett said. "I said 'well, we should make somebody else's day.' So the person behind me, I'll pay for it."

And she didn't stop there, she jumped on Facebook and wrote "I love to pay it forward" and that's when Chris Rayburn saw the post.

"Even the smallest thing can pay it forward," Rayburn said.

She had just gotten off the phone with 83-year-old Katie Mills, a woman who is special to Rayburn's husband and close to her family.

"When he was a child she took care of them and they just kept in contact with her all these years," Rayburn said.

She said Mills was in tears and had just learned her power could get turned off because of a late bill. Mills is bedridden and said she gave her bill money to a friend to pay it, but it didn't happen.

"So, I thought 'hmm, Katie's having a hard time. If I ask 29 of my friends to pay $10 it will bring her power bill up,'" Rayburn said.

Inspired by her friend Pickett, she then hopped on Facebook with that plea. Her friends not only liked the post, but they also called Greer Commission of Public Works and made payments to Mills' account. Some customers even donated money at Stomping Grounds.

"People from outside of Greer, as far away as Afghanistan, Georgia and other areas responded to it," Rayburn said.

And so the spirit of giving continues to flow at the coffee shop and throughout Greer.

"It's exciting to think all of this happened over a cup of coffee," Pickett said.

As of Friday night, FOX Carolina learned donors were still making payments to Mills' account. Her balance is zero and her bill is paid through April.

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