Peggy Carroll - A Mother to Children in Need
All children need kindness, love and encouragement.
A McMinn County woman has spent more than two decades doing just that for more than 100 kids in need.
We visit Athens this week where we meet a young woman who wants to thank her adopted mother.
"I'm Samantha Carroll and we're Paying it Forward to my mom, Peggy Carroll today. She's a foster parent advocate right now and she's been a foster parent for 22 years. I was the first foster child, so I've seen over 150 kids come through."
Samantha was placed in Peggy's care at 3-months-old and was eventually adopted by the Carroll family.
"I'm friends with my birth mom and I can see where I would have been today and it's nowhere where I am today. I just graduated college with no loans and everything and it's all because of my mom because she helped me pay so much for college and for everything I've ever done she's been right there beside me," Samantha says.
She shouts, "I can't even tell you how amazing she is! She's so amazing!"
I ask Samantha what Peggy is doing at the moment.
She replies, "She's just sitting at home. She's thinking we're going to go to breakfast. So, she thought I came and got gas and I was gonna come pick her and the baby up (a foster child) and go to breakfast.."
But, little does she know, we're going to pay it forward to her today," I say.
We count out our cash and make our way to Peggy's house.
Samantha knocks on the door and yells inside, "Hey mom, can you come out here a minute?"
Peggy walks to the door and Samantha tells her, "On behalf of McMahan Law Firm and NewsChannel 9 I want to Pay it Forward to you. Here's $100, $200, $300, $400 and $500. You do so much for me and the community. I just thought you needed this."
Peggy is speechless.
I ask her why she's fostered so many children over the years.
Peggy replies, "It's just a blessing to me. I've thought about quitting a few times when my husband passed away and then I think, no I can't. I feel like the kids do as much for me as I do for them."
Every once in awhile she'll get a call from a child she once fostered like one young woman in Mississippi recently.
"I just started crying and said I hadn't heard from you in a long time... She'd really had a bad life. I was so proud to hear that she was married and has a little boy now."
Peggy has one hope for the dozens of children she's fostered.
"I just want them to know the love of a family. Most of these kids I get in here don't know, and I hope they can remember me and what I've tried to provide and show them, not material things - just the love and care."
That kind of love shows us all there are few things that can change a life so greatly like opening your home and your heart to a child in need.
If you'd like to learn more about adopting or fostering a child CLICK HERE.
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