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The gift of giving inspires Alton woman to dream big

"It makes me feel good to know someone else cares for us." A donation from a group in Alton, Illinois, inspired a woman to achieve her dream of independence.

ALTON, Ill. — Alton neighbors are spreading the love by giving the gift of giving. The Riverbend Growth Association brightened the holidays for women in a group home when they donated personal items and Christmas supplies.

One of the residents of the group home overseen by Challenge Unlimited is Katina Pasley. The mission of the home is to help women with mental disabilities become independent.

Pasley is a giver by nature.

"As long as you're happy, I’m happy with you," she said.

But being on the receiving end this holiday season put a smile on her face.

"It makes me feel good to know someone else cares for us," Pasley said.

It’s one of the last holidays she will spend in the home because in 2020 she is moving into her own apartment.

"I know now how to catch the bus for my doctor appointments, how to budget my own money," she said.

She’s been with the organization for four years. The staff and roommates helped her overcome many obstacles and develop everyday skills she relies on as she takes on the world independently.

For the folks at the Riverbend Growth Association, it was a kind gesture of spreading love throughout the community. For Pasley, it was another reminder that others are supporting her growth and dreams.

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