PHOENIX (CBS 5) - Debbie Bottom is the friendly voice and warm smile that makes parents and students feel welcome at Whispering Wind Academy in Phoenix.
"Little kindnesses go a long way," said Bottom. "They really do."
But this campus assistant's kindness and generosity don't stop when she leaves school, despite a number of hardships her family has overcome.
Bottom's daughter recently battled back from cancer, and her oldest son, who served in the U.S Air Force, died unexpectedly at the age of 22.
Jolie Sakata Panyon lives next door to Bottom and has been overwhelmed by all the love and support Bottom has provided over the years.
"When I battled breast cancer, she was the first one there with dinner after chemotherapy," said Panyon. "She was there the night my mom died, was there at hospital night my husband had a stroke, and she's been there through everything, and she puts everybody first before herself."
"It makes you feel like a good," said Bottom. "It doesn't cost anything, but it makes you feel like a good person and I think we all want to feel like a good person."
Panyon wanted her neighbor to know how much she is appreciated, so she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to Bottom.
A CBS 5 news crew followed along as Panyon showed up at school to surprise Bottom and give her $500.
"Because you mean so much to me, I reached out to Channel 5 and their Pay It Forward," Panyon said. "You never miss a birthday, and it doesn't matter what you are going through. I know that I could text or call you in the middle of the night, and you would be there."
"So on behalf of Channel 5 and Pay It Forward, and from my family to your family, I have $500 for you," said Panyon. "She can carry the weight of the world on her shoulders you wouldn't know it because she's so giving and kind."
"That's what friends do, right?" said Bottom.