Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daniel Thompson

Local residents turn out for "pay it forward" event


Daniel Thompson

Local resident Caroljo Nagel struggels to hold back tears when presented with her new car.

The Event Center was filled with excitement the afternoon of Saturday, November 23, as local residents waited in anticipation of the arrival of Caroljo Nagel and the presentation of her new car.

News crews and photographers scattered around the ballroom of the Event Center as the side doors opened illuminating the back of the room with sunlight as the silhouette of Nagel passed through the threshold. As she walked towards Blain Schilreff, who has spent the past 35 days collecting donations in order to give her a new car, it was clear that she was holding back tears of joy and appreciation for all that he and donators had done for her.

Though the event centered around Caroljo, she stated that the donations and the spectacular gift that she was about to receive were not truly about one person.

"It's not about me, folks. It's not even about the car. It's about a community getting together to drive Satan out of here and to give glory to God. That's what this is for. Blain's going to do some others. Like I told him, when God took this out of your hands and he flew with it, don't hold him back, just let him fly," Nagel said.

After a few words from Schilreff, highlighting that donations were received from 10 states along with a $500 donation from the Philippines, the DJ cued up a song that Blain had prepared for Nagel, that song appropriately being 'Lean on Me'.

As the words of the song filled the room, Nagel sang along, swapping out some of the words in order to incorporate a more religious meaning to it.

The song wrapped and Schilreff presented Caroljo her keys and had all of the participants in the center go outside where the car was sitting in the parking lot as Nagel was blindfolded and led out of the front door.

After a brief game of having Nagel try to guess the year of her car, Schilreff removed the blindfold from Nagel's eyes. Immediately after Nagel laid her eyes on the 2009 Buick LaSabre sitting in front of her, she was overcome with emotion, holding her hands over her eyes to keep her tears from running all the way down her face.

Nagel was able to choke back her tears long enough to hug Dave Wolf, Mike Winstrom, and Roger Wynne of Wolf Automotive who had contributed the largest donation towards the car in the form of $5,000.

Before taking her first drive in the car with Schilreff, Nagel showed the crowd that even though she was overwhelmed with emotion, she could still crack a joke.

"I got to tell you. I hope there's not a policeman here, because I wasn't sure if I should bring my driver's license with me or not," Nagel said.

According to Schilreff, donations not only totaled $15,000 but Nagel also received an anonymous donation of five free oil changes per year for the entirety of the time that she owns the car.

"She's got a year's worth of insurance now. All of her sales taxes are paid. And she's got fifty dollars in gas cards, and three hundred dollars in cash still after all of that. It's pretty awesome," Schilreff said.

However, the donations are still coming in.

"The money is still coming in. We're at 15,000 today. I've got phone calls. We've got checks coming from New York, Oregon, and we've still got one coming from Colorado Springs. We're nowhere close to done. We could hit $15,500 or $16,000 yet," Schilreff said.

The pay it forward movement by Schilreff has been so successful in helping out Nagel that Schilreff has decided to make it an annual event.

"Our CEO at Cabela's has challenged me to make this an annual event, and that's what I'm going to do. It'll be an annual event," Schilreff said.

However, it will not merely focus on the Kimball area in the future, but it will instead span the entirety of the United States.

"I don't think you can keep it to Kimball. We started here, because of Caroljo and it inspired all of us. I think you have to help more than that. I think next year I think we'll literally say that we're going to raise money for a car for so and so and on top o f that we're going to raise additional money to help two more families and give them maybe $500 for Chirstmas," Schilreff said.

After seeing his dream of helping another person in a substantial way realized, Schilreff stated that he hopes that people will continue the pay it forward mentality and keep giving to their fellow men and women.

"I just want everybody else to pay it forward. Whether that's helping somebody get through the door or help somebody that's hungry. Any way, shape or form, help somebody. It doesn't have to be money, just be kind. I want everybody to pay it forward. That's all I really want," Schilreff said.

When asked how she felt when she first laid her eyes on the car and saw the product of other people's benevolence, Nagel stated that she couldn't help but wonder why she had been chosen to receive such a gift.

"I didn't feel like it was me. Why me? On the radio, on the TV, all this media hype, why? Then I realized that it's my turn to give back to the community and to the world what I feel about God and how he can do the same thing for you if you just let him," Nagel said.

Nagel also talked about how the movement by Schilreff has even reinforced her own sense of paying it forward citing that just a few days prior to the event, she had felt the desire to pay for two tables food at the local Pizza Hut.

When asked what her first thought when seeing her new car was, Nagel recalled how different it had been from her previous vehicles.

Daniel Thompson

Schilreff's 'Pay it Forward' sticker is proudly displayed on Nagel's new Buick.

"This is not like those other ones I had. I don't have to stencil the back of it. The hail hasn't taken it. The second car, it had a hail storm and it hurt that car really bad. I had 22 direct hits to the windshield. I started to cry about that and after I cried a while the Lord said, 'You know I'll take care of you just let it alone.' Well, I was going home and I thought about my house and he said, 'I mean your house too. I mean your whole body. I'll take care of everything,'" Schilreff said.

After everything that has happened to her over the past 35 days and the tremendous outpouring of generosity that she has received, Nagel simply wished that people will carry on the cause and continue to support those around them.

"Pass it on. Keep loving people. Just love people no matter who they are. Even a bum on the street is welcome in church, because a church is for the sick so that God can help them. Who knows, you might be helping somebody else unawares. There are angels all over, and God is everywhere in this world. We just need to seek him and find him," Nagel said.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018