Volunteer Pays it Forward to woman devoted to helping abused girls

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They're young girls, who've been abused physically, sexually and emotionally, and have nowhere to turn.

That's where Janet Olson comes in.

She's the director of Natalie's House, a west Valley group home devoted to helping girls 6 to 16 get a new lease on life.

"Every child has a right to a safe place to be at night, and we wanted to create it," said Olson. "We have them doing things like learning to ride horses, doing artwork and crafts, and going on lots of outings. Things to make them feel good about themselves."

Grace Cooper has seen what a difference Olson is making, but she knows it's not easy, especially with limited funds to care for the girls and an old van that barely runs.

Cooper reached out to CBS5 to Pay it Forward to Olson.

"Her number one priority is the girls," said Cooper. "If that means digging into her own pocket to get the girls what she thinks they need, she does that over and over and over again."

CBS5 followed along as Cooper surprised Olson during a recent fund raising meeting.

"You know you've impressed me so much with the work you do with the girls," Cooper told Olson. "I reached out to Channel 5 Pay it Forward and they came through for me. I am here to give you $500."

"I didn't always have a good time in my childhood, and being able to see these kids laughing and enjoying life, and proud of themselves is incredible. It means everything to me to see them make it in life and being happy."

Olson is hoping to use the money to help buy a new van, since their current one is breaking down.

If you are interested in helping Natalie's House, a GoFundMe site has been set up .

Copyright 2016 KPHO (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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