Pay It Forward – December 2018 – Crystal West

Customer Service Representative Crystal West (right), paid forward $500 to the Hensley family of Taylors. 2-year old Nicolette, here with her mom Brandi, needs a special communications device to help her connect to others.

December’s recipient of the employee Pay it Forward funds, Customer Service Representative Crystal West, paid forward $500 to the Hensley family of Taylors.

The Hensley’s two-year old daughter Nicolette has struggled with a variety of medical needs since birth, and needs a special device to help her connect with others.

The Tobi Dynovox Eye Gaze Communication Device is a portable device that uses a laser to track eye movements.

Nicolette’s mother, Brandi, explains “Because she can’t communicate through speech this device helps her communicate by looking a pictures to let people know what she wants and needs. For example, if she wants a certain toy or food all she will have to do is look at a picture to let (us) know. She has been using a trial device for a few months and has made wonderful progress. With her own device it will be more personal since I can add pictures specific to her things, family, and friends.”

Crystal said, “Brandi is the strongest mother I have ever met. She has faced many challenges with doctors, nurses, and insurance companies to make sure Nicolette has had the best care even before she was born. Because of that determination, Nicolette always has a smile on her face despite everything she has been through. When I was selected for the Pay it Forward program, I immediately thought of Brandi and all she has done to give her child a better life.”

Through Laurens Electric’s Pay It Forward program, every Cooperative employee is entered into a random drawing to receive $500 to pay forward in any way they choose. Each month a new name is drawn, and the employee then has one month to apply the funds toward their own act of kindness.

This initiative is budget-neutral; the funds will come from Laurens Electric’s charity events, which employee volunteers make possible.

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