TIMES were tough for Vanessa Simmonds and her family, but thanks to ECO Pay It Forward they just got a little easier.
The Landsdale company helps those who are battling, keeping their heads above the water.
Items are given to the company, who ‘pay them forward’ to those in need.
Four years ago, Vanessa discovered she had a lesion on her spinal cord.
For the family, it was a devastating blow.
“We lost everything when I got sick, everything,” Vanessa said.
“We did it real hard for four years.”
The family relocated to the Wheatbelt to rebuild, and their luck turned last year when daughter Lani (11) was offered a drama scholarship at John Curtin College of the Arts, forcing a move to Hamilton Hill.
“Everything changed from then,” Vanessa said.
“I contacted Cal in November last year and said ‘help, we don’t have anything’.”
Cal is ECO Pay It Forward volunteer Cal Christelow.
“The community gives forward what they want,” she explained.
“We hold it, until we find somebody who needs it and we pay it forward.
“That’s how we do it.
“Send me an email or a Facebook request, we’ll go through what’s happening.”
But even Cal was amazed when she was contacted by Leederville social worker Michelle Matcham – who wanted to give away her Hyundai Elantra to someone who needed it.
“I decided to get a new car with my family, I’d had it for two years,” Michelle said.
“It’s done me well, it got me started an on my feet.”
It was the first time ECO has paid a car forward.
Vanessa was incredibly moved by the gesture and said it would make a “massive” difference to her life.
She has two young children, her son Fenix is on the autism spectrum and her husband works at Perth Airport – so the car will significantly ease her travel burden.
“Thanks to Michelle, Vanessa can be mobile to pick up the children or go to a specialist’s appointment,” Cal said.
To see how you can help, or to receive assistance, visit the www.facebook.com/ECOPIF/