Acadiana man pays it forward to stroke survivor

Pay It Forward

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- At KLFY News 10, we want to take the opportunity to give back to the community, so we’ve teamed up with Bob Giles and Giles Automotive to do just that. 

We go out into the community to find a good Samaritan and then we give that person $500 in cash. We then challenge them to pay it forward by giving that money away to someone truly deserving. 

We met Fred Arsement in the grocery parking lot.

Bob Giles with Giles Automotive said, “I have an envelope with $500 in it and the way it works is we’d like to give it to you this morning and for you to pay it forward to someone that you can think of that can use $500, that needs some assistance, a helping hand.”

Arsement gave it some thought. “I know there are people out there, he said. “You think of them. It’s just being on the spot and the right person because it would be a huge blessing to someone.” 

A blessing that was beginning to unfold. Fred phoned his friend, Robert LeBlanc, who thought of Anita Vincent.

“We’ve actually developed a relationship with her through the Catholic Church,” LeBlanc told us. “She’s one of my shut-ins. I go in there weekly. She and her mom, I bring her communion. It’s like I’m bringing Jesus to her in her home.”

LeBlanc said Anita Vincent is like family to him. Anita is homebound because she is handicapped due to a stroke that happened to her when she was just 31 years old in 2003.

Robert said, “She stayed down for a good while. Her mother was a cafeteria worker at Acadiana, and she never got the call, and when she finally did get the call, the landlord of the house had come and found her down so she was without oxygen for a while and the stroke paralyzed her on one side, but she bounced back from that.”

We met Anita in her home and explained to her about our program Pay It Forward.

Bob Giles said to Anita, “I have an envelope which I’m going to give to Fred, and then Fred is going to pay it forward to Robert, and then Robert has the honor to pay it forward to you so if you’ll just take that envelope and open it up.”

Robert handed the envelope to Anita. She exclaimed, “No wonder my hands were itching.”

Bob said, “That’s $500 to brighten your day.”

“You’re going to make me cry,” said Anita. “Thank y’all so much. Every once in a while, I hit rock bottom, and I come back because I literally came from the ground up. I was down the hall with no medical attention.”

“You’re a fighter for sure. You’re a huge inspiration,” Bob told Anita.

Anita spent three-and-half months in the hospital followed by two-and-a-half years in physical therapy after her stroke. 

A true inspiration to all of us. Anita defines a tenacious, strong-willed, and faith-based woman. A Pay It Forward to remember.

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