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'Pay it forward’ ABC Action News viewers make special Christmas delivery to single mom, four kids

Posted at 9:32 PM, Dec 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-20 21:33:00-05

A struggling Tampa Bay area mom with no hope of providing Christmas for her four children found herself on the receiving end of a holiday miracle after two generous ABC Action News viewers stopped by with a special delivery.

Single mother Rachel Wallace had no hope of providing Christmas for her four children this year, until Nancy Potwine and her co-worker Jennifer Cristiano showed up to fill the empty space under her tree this year.

The kind Christmas act was all because of a story Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway covered 16 years ago.

In 2002, Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway covered Potwin’s story as a single mother working as a waitress and facing brain tumor surgery. The community responded to her story with generation donations.

“It is literally because of you that the City of Tampa supported me for four months,” said Potwine.

Now, every year, Christmas Potwine and Cristiano pay it forward – working with ABC Action News to identify a family in need to adopt for the holidays. This is their fifth Christmas and counting.

They filled boxes and bags with gifts for 2-year-old Tiana, 4-year-old Drey, 5-year-old Romeo and 7-year-old D.J. and brought gift cards and groceries for Rachel Wallace.

“They would not have any Christmas if it wasn’t for you guys,” said Wallace. “I really appreciate it.”