Jill Anderson, business analyst
Loretta and DeEtte Strait
Visiting the same place for their standing date, Jill Anderson and her husband quickly got to know their bartender, Loretta Strait. As time passed, they learned of Loretta’s 8-year-old daughter, DeEtte, who loves to play softball.
Confined to a wheelchair, DeEtte’smobility is limited but “she likes to hear the cheers,” her mother told Jill.
“I learned that she has something called GLUT1 deficiency syndrome,”Jill remarks. “It has to do with the brain not being able to regulate the sugar in her blood. It causes a myriad of problems, but the main one is seizures.”
Unfortunately, DeEtte wasn’t diagnosed until she was 4 years old and,and Jill learned occasional emergency room visits were the norm for Loretta’s daughter.
“It just broke my heart,” Jill says, recalling. “Maybe she doesn’t need help for medical bills – I don’t know – but certainly to go to these baseball camps and just to live life. I thought it would be a nice gesture to be able to give them this (Pay It Forward) money.”
After paying it forward, Jill received a thank you from Loretta and DeEtte via video.
“Thank you, Bell Bank, for your gift,” Loretta says. “We really appreciate it. Right now, we’re actually at the airport. It’s 5 a.m., and we’re on our way to Orlando to see one of DeEtte’s really good friends named Dexter.”
Even more surprising, the impact of the gift extended beyond the mother-daughter duo. It touched Jill and her husband as well.
“My husband and I have always kind of been pay it forward people, but now I don’t think a week goes by that one of us doesn’t say, ‘Let’s pay it forward,’” she says.“It could be the littlest thing but it’s just engrained in us now because of the feeling we got, being able to do this for Loretta. It’s amazing.”