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Pay It Forward recognizes woman who uses her son to inspire others

Mary Allen-Des Jardins has seen hardship in her life but has never let it bring her down.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Mary Allen-Des Jardins never lets life get her down.

"I am trying to find my purpose in life and part of that purpose is making sure other lives are enriched," said Mary. Even when her son was diagnosed with autism and resources were slim, she found a way to make it work.

Becoming her own resource.

"He has been my extreme teacher in how to handle crisis situations, behavioral situations, really intense situations and because of him he's really my real hero and my inspiration," said Mary.

She opened up Quad City Service Providers, a pipeline of information for families dealing with various disabilities and later, a small bakery in Davenport to give her clients work experience.

"She always makes sure they have a voice when most people don't listen to them," said Niki Boland. "She's just amazing like that, I've seen it myself, I've seen it with my own eyes."

By teaching others to change a negative mindset to a positive one.

"As a single mom I want to be that person that I wish I had back in the day," said Mary.

Mary's strength and positive attitude gave Niki an idea, nominating Mary for the Pay It Forward award.

"Niki, thank you for nominating Mary for the Pay It Forward award at Ascentra Credit Union we believe in listening, caring and doing what's right," said Sarah Floyd, Ascentra Credit Union."Mary's work in our community truly exemplifies those principles so on behalf of Ascentra I am excited present you with $300 so that you may Pay It Forward to Mary."

Her office filled with support and emotions Mary never thought her work would mean this much.

"I'm very overwhelmed right now this is interrupting my mojo what do I do now," said Mary. Thrown off guard but with a smile on her face Mary is ready to take on whatever comes next.

Helping others find strength in difficult times.

If you know of someone doing good things in your community, someone who shows the core values of Ascentra Credit Union, which are Listening, Caring and Doing What's Right, why not Pay it Forward? 

Nominate them here.