LA PINE, Ore. - Lynn Buck is a familiar face to dozens of La Pine students who come to The HUB after school.
"So many schools have had to cut different programs, so we are able to add some of those enrichment activities back in such as archery, and working with van go to do art," said Buck, the community school coordinator at The HUB.
Since it opened in April 2011, The HUB has welcomed dozens of middle school and high school kids. Anywhere from 20 to 60 students every day come to work with tutors, .let out some energy and, most importantly, to learn.
"Many of our parents work in Bend, so to have a place for these kids to come that's safe to hang out after school and to know that it's going to be warm and safe and out of the snow is really good for this community," Buck said.
"My husband and I have eight kids -- five of them are adopted, and so they've been kind of a challenge for us," said parent Robin Marsh.
Marsh's kids have been a part of The HUB for the past few years. And without it, Marsh said she just can't imagine how things would be.
"The Hub has just been a blessing. They've kept my family together and kept my sanity," Marsh said.
That blessing is why Marsh wants to pay it forward.
On behalf of NewsChannel 21, Co Energy Propane and Mid Oregon Credit Union, we presented Marsh with $500 to pay it forward to The HUB.
Then we surprised the organization after school.
"It's honestly such a huge honor to be a part of this," Buck said after being surprised with the money. "And so many times, when I'm talking to my tutors or site supervisor -- if we can just help one kid, and to know we are helping multiple families -- there are no words."
Buck says the money will go toward a new woodworking program they've been trying to start for the high school students. The cost of materials has been a bit of a setback for The HUB, but not any more.
"I just appreciate everything they've done for us and the community," Marsh said.
It's the community that drives Buck and The HUB to pay it forward for the kids.
"We had a kid last year who was contemplating suicide, and now he is one of our volunteers. That makes every hard day, every frustrating moment worth it," Buck said.
If you would like to nominate someone or a group like The HUB for our Pay it Forward award, you can do so on our KTVZ.COM home page. All the information is under the Contests tab at the top of every page.