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Pay It Forward: Quad City woman lending her own time to fight hunger in the community

Carol Miller was inspired by her own life experiences to support those struggling to put food on the table.

MOLINE, Ill. — A Quad City woman spends her own time making sure people in the community do not go hungry.

Carol Miller, 63, the Pay It Forward nominee was inspired by her own life experiences to support those struggling to put food on the table.

"I find comfort in helping others," Miller said.

Carol picks up items from the River Bend Food Bank in SouthPark Mall every week. She then takes the food to the South Rock Island Township building as a donation.

"I didn't know how much it really was until I actually went with her," Tommye Miller, Carol's brother and pay it forward nominator said.

It has become a regular routine for Carol to sit in line with her chair 'princess' as she waits for the food pantry to open. 

"I can't stand too long, so I take this everywhere I go," Carol said. 

The trips to the food bank are like grocery shopping for Carol but it goes to others who are in need.

"We wouldn't be able to do this without people like her," South Rock Island Township supervisor Grace Shirk said.

Every Tuesday and Thursday Carol is one of the first people to enter the food center. She also stops by Two Rivers United Methodist Church in Rock Island on Saturdays to collect more items to donate.

"Tommye, thank you for nominating Carol for the pay it forward award," Lindsey Osborne with Ascentra Credit Union said to Tommye. "All of the great work she does, all over the community, all different capacities, really reflects Ascentra's model of listening, caring and doing what's right. So on behalf of Ascentra Credit Union and WQAD, I'm happy to give you this $300 so you can pay it forward to Carol."

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"On behalf of WQAD and Ascentra Credit Union, I would like to present you with this pay it forward, not only for who you are but for all you do for the community," Tommye said to Carol.

"Thank you so much brother," Carol said.

Carol's drive to help others comes from a humble heart. 

"There was a time where I was homeless," Carol said.

Carol is taking on a big load, but off the shoulders of those less fortunate than her.

"It is important to me, knowing that there's people out there that don't have anything," Carol said. "It just makes me feel blessed when I can bless others."

Carol plans to start up her own home healthcare business in the coming months.

A link to the River Bend Food Bank can be found here.

If you know someone you'd like to nominate for the Pay It Forward Award, click here