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Published on Jan 19, 2012
It's not easy for Pearl Zambrano to look back on the days as homeless. "No words," she says. "I don't like crying." The single mother of two, who thought she had no where to turn, was given a second chance from a former landlord she bumped into on her birthday. "I had no where to support them... I got laid off... So I had no way of paying the bills," she said. Pearl was told she could live in an Edinburg area apartment at no cost. The rent free agreement from her landlord cost Pearl just one promise: to finish college and provide for her kids she once faced losing. "It was very touching what he did," she said. It's been 15 months since that life changing encounter. Pearl still hasn't paid a dime to live in her apartment while she attends online classes. "I've offered to pay him back and he says 'no'... 'not to stress.'" That's why she's nominating her landlord, Rafael Trevino, as the next Pay it 4Ward $400 recipient. Pronto Insurance, who sponsors Pay it 4Ward, awarded the cash to Pearl for Rafael's selfless act of kindness. "On behalf of Pronto Insurance and Action 4 News... We couldn't think of a better person to hand this over to Pay it 4Ward! Rafael has really changed your life... And we're so happy to help you with this to Pay it 4Ward," Tito Munoz, district manager for Pronto Insurance said. Rafael arrives at Pearl's apartment on Thursday afternoon under the request by her to fix the apartment front door. He's in for quite a Pay it 4Ward surprise when Action 4 News is inside. Ryan: "She tells me you've changed her life... And [Pearl] she has something very special to tell you... I know you're surprised right now... I'm the last person you expected to see with Action 4 News... But pearl go ahead and share what you told us." Pearl: "On behalf of Pronto Insurance and Action 4 News... I'm Paying it 4Ward... $400 to say thanks!... $100, $200, $300, $400." Rafael is stunned. Ryan: "What was your reaction?" Rafael: "I don't know... Maybe I was speeding or something!" Ryan: "I'm not checking your speed... Or your kitchen... We're rewarding you!" Rafael: "Usually when I help people, I don't expect anything in return... At all... I feel privileged that not only am I in a position to help others but I actually follow through with it." At just 26 years old, it's clear everyone can learn something from this self-made businessman. Rafael attributes his humble ways to his late father whose motto it was to help others. "I grew up without my father... And I would hear all these stories of how he would go around helping people," he said. His kindness extends to other tenants who don't pay late fees. Rafael works 16 hour days at times to make sure others aren't in need. He plans to use his Pay it 4Ward $400 reward to help others. "If we don't go around helping people out... What type of world are we going to be leaving for our children," Rafael asked? Rafael Trevino is more than just a landlord; Pearl says he's an "angel" on earth. "Pay it 4Ward," Rafael says! Click here to nominate someone for the Pay it 4Ward reward Click here to join Ryan Wolf's Facebook page