La Feria News

Pay it Forward La Feria helps many in the community

A groundswell of community support strengthens grassroots organization

Alejandro Paz (left) and Anna Aleman (right) of Pay it Forward stand with Shay (middle) who received housing help from Pay it Forward. La Feria Motel provided a generous discount and Mr. and Mrs. Rangel were able to provide Shay with rent for a month. Courtesy photo

by NELDA BRIONES
LFN

Alejandro Paz didn’t always have things going for him. He had lost his father to alcoholism at a young age and he too as he got older turned to drinking and drugs which led him to spend about a year and a half in prison. When he was away, he decided to make a change in his life and stay away from trouble. He ended up getting his GED and took extra classes to better his life for when he was released. After being released, he started working, going to AA and NA meetings and decided to go to school online to get his bachelor’s degree in science and counseling with and emphasis in drug addiction.

It took his struggle to decide to help others in need. Because of the pandemic and then Hurricane Hanna he found himself struggling with bills and didn’t have any light for a week. He said he didn’t have any way of getting the help he needed. After seeing others struggle as well, he knew he had to do something to where they wouldn’t have to go through what he went through. He had many ideas but would never would go through with them. Eventually he knew he had to start doing something to help others because he didn’t like the way he felt when he was struggling and no one to turn to. So, one day he put it out on Facebook hoping people would help.

Paz started a Pay it Forward Facebook page and a GoFund me page called Pay it Forward La Feria. He knew there was help out there but not as quickly as some people needed. His GoFund me page would allow him to get help faster to the families that needed it. He mentioned that if funds are available, he tries to meet them halfway with paying a bill or getting food and supplies. If they have the funds, they are able to help out with food, clothing, bills, shelter or whatever they could assist with. He mentioned that he doesn’t like to turn anyone away. With donations from others whether it be clothing or food, he’s been able to help several families in the community. Lately he’s been receiving messages from outside the community and if they can, they will help them as well.

Paz says he’s glad that he has been able to get help from other members of the community. He mentioned that one person. Mrs. Anna Aleman, saw what he was doing and immediately wanted to be a part of it. She has offered to go grocery shopping for the families and deliver food to them. He said he’s happy to have her as a mentor since she’s worked with struggling families before. He’s happy to have her on his team. Also, there is Aymee Monique de Leon who has offered to help him. She helps in receiving messages from families in need of assistance and picks up donations. Right now, it’s only the three of them so once he gets out of work he starts picking up and dropping off donations. It’s a lot of work but it’s definitely worthwhile and brings a lot of joy to see that families that receive the donations.

In the future Mr. Paz plans to continue helping the community. As long as the community continues to support his cause he will continue. He eventually wants to start helping people struggling with alcohol and drug addiction and start his own AA/NA meetings here in La Feria.

If you’d like to contact Mr. Paz you could reach him at his email alejandropaz85@icloud.com or can call him at (956)202-6533. You could join his Facebook Pay it Forward donation page or if anyone would like to donate you could do it through his GoFundme page Pay it Forward La Feria.

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