CBS 3 Springfield viewer pays it forward to a man in need - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

CBS 3 Springfield viewer pays it forward to a man in need

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We first introduced you to Springfield resident Milton Forbes two weeks ago as he stood on the steps of City Hall fighting back tears at the thought of losing his home.

Forbes owed thousands in back taxes on his Wellington Street home he's owned for 37 years.

The city told him he could pay back a quarter of what he owed.

But as a single father raising a 13-year-old and battling numerous disabilities, Forbes fell behind on those payments.

"It was so hard," said Forbes.

With nowhere to go, he said he had nightmares.

"I couldn't sleep at night. I was very scared," he said.

Scared he and his son, Nicholai would be forced to live on the streets.

"My son kept saying, 'daddy pray, pray daddy,'" said Forbes.

And he prayed, until those nightmares ended when a woman from Maryland saw Forbes' call for help here on CBS 3 Springfield.

Her name is Linda and wishes to remain anonymous. She vacations in Northampton for the summer.

She told us she couldn't forget the image of that man wiping away tears on the steps of City Hall.

"I couldn't go to bed. I kept thinking about this fellow and how could you just see that and just go to bed?" said Linda.

She said she knew she had to do something.

"I called your station to find more about him," she continued.

When Linda learned Forbes hadn't lost his home yet, she offered to lend a helping hand to a total stranger.

She dipped in to her Social Security savings and wrote a check that allowed Forbes to remain on the payment plan and keep his home.

Linda said she'll never forget the day she presented her donation to Forbes.

"He broke into tears. It was just touching," said Linda.

"I started it cry. It felt like my body had a makeover," said Forbes.

Tax collector for the City of Springfield, Stephen Lonergan, said he's never seen this kind of generosity before.

"It's really a nice testimony of the good of people in the world," said Lonergan.

Linda said there was a time when she was walking in Forbes' shoes and needed help herself.

"I had times when I didn't have any money. When I thought I was going lose my house and I had a son in middle school. That was a nightmare. I could just see me in him," said Linda.

Now because of Linda, Milton Forbes doesn't have those nightmares anymore. Instead of dreading losing his house, at night he thinks of the person that changed his life.

"I thank you for helping me. God sent you for a purpose to help me, and you're always going to be in my heart," said Forbes.

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