BANNOCK COUNTY (KIDK/KXPI) - For 13 years, one local family has been performing at their yearly Christmas concert to entertain, but more importantly, to help the needy. KIDK Eyewitness News 3 wanted to help them Pay It Forward.
"So much that one person cared, that they wanted to do the same. It became a tradition, ever since then," said Kathleen Michaud, talking about the time someone provided Christmas for her young family years ago. Now her family hosts a yearly Christmas concert to give back to the community.
Michaud is one of the organizers behind the concert they call their Christmas Angels concert. It's appropriately named.
Every year, they perform their musical concert and all they ask for admission is a toy or a monetary donation. Five Michaud children perform with their parents and it's even carrying over to the next generation. Nine of 12 grandkids took to the stage.
The public support was overwhelming. About 280 people came out this year. Michaud said about 60% to 70% of them were repeat fans.
"There were better, bigger, more quality toys than we've ever seen and there was about $1,000 in monetary as well," said Michaud.
Now the work really begins, sorting through all the toys to get them ready for delivery. But outside Kory Carling with Mountain America Credit Union is getting ready for our special delivery.
"Alright, it's that time again. Let's see who we can find," said Carling, as he carries his envelope of cash toward the front step.
Back inside, KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz asked Michaud why they do the concert every year.
"Years ago, we had five kids and there wasn't going to be much under our tree. And so someone rang our doorbell and left toys and packages for the kids and food, and it changed our lives forever," said Michaud.
Kind of like now, as Carling rang the doorbell outside.
"We'll let you get that. Go ahead," said Kunz as Michaud got up from the kitchen table.
"Sorry. We're not expecting anyone," said Michaud, as she walked to the front door.
"Hi," she said, opening the door.
"Hi, are you Kathleen? I'm Kory with Mountain America Credit Union," said Carling, standing outside.
"Oh hi," said Michaud.
"We've heard about you're doing and the generosity that the Christmas Angels have done and all the families that you guys are touching during the Christmas holiday. So we're here today to Pay It Forward with you," said Carling.
"Are you serious?" asked Michaud.
"So I've brought with me today, $500 in cash," said Carling.
"Oh my goodness!" said Michaud.
"That I know you're going to put towards good use and continue to affect our community.," said Carling.
"Are you serious?" asked Michaud.
"And continue your cause. So on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, we'd like to Pay It Forward," said Carling.
"Oh thank you so much!" said Michaud.
"You are welcome," said Carling.
"Oh my goodness," said Michaud.
"Good job," said Carling.
"Oh, thank you. Wow!" said Michaud.
The Michaud family said they will continue their yearly Christmas concert as long as they can.
People can still help for this year. They are taking toy or monetary donations through December 17. Drop off donations at the Calvary Alliance Church at 800 Marinus Lane in Pocatello. Or drop them off at any of four Mountain America Credit Union locations, one in Pocatello, Chubbuck, Idaho Falls, or Ammon.
"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at firstname.lastname@example.org.