Some of Oklahoma’s strongest trees were no match for winter’s frosty grip.
They bowed to the weight of icy rain falling from the sky - snapping from the pressure.
One of the thousands that fell was a giant mulberry branch that collapsed at the home of Jon and Myrna Spencer in northwest Oklahoma City.
"The weight of the ice split that major lateral limb and completely blocked our driveway,” Jon said.
The Spencers had to drive around through the yard to get to work that day.
Jon, knowing he had a long night ahead of him after work, sawing and lugging the branch pieces out of the driveway.
But, when the Spencers returned from their jobs…
"We reached the driveway. It was clear,” John said. “And, we looked at each other and said ‘Oh my goodness, there's been a blessing.'”
A blessing in the form of their neighbor Matt Gilson.
While Jon and Myrna were at work, Matt did all the work and heavy lifting for them.
To the Spencers, Matts effort was a labor of love.
"I thank him and say, 'You're an angel,'” Myrna said. “What a nice thing to do. Not too many neighbors you can find nowadays that you can find someone like him. And, I gave him hug - not just one but twice."
That’s why the Spencers nominated Matt for Pay it 4Ward.
“I just want to make Matt feel the same way we felt when we pulled in and the driveway was clear - that terrific." Jon said.
Brandon Hunter from First Fidelity Bank presented Jon with the $400 to Pay it 4Ward to Matt.
Then, we surprised Matt at his home next door.
Jon couldn’t wait to reward Matt for his neighborly habits.
"It brings me great joy and pleasure to present the Pay it 4Ward award to you on behalf of NewsChannel 4 and First Fidelity Bank,” said John to Matt. “You wouldn't let me pay you, but I don't think you have any choice now. You're the best neighbor ever.”
Myrna hugged Jon.
“I’ll say it again: You were our angel that night," Myrna said.
For Matt, it's all about being a good neighbor.
“It was just one of those things. I had a little bit of extra free time, so it was nice to get out there and do something," Matt said. "It was nothing too big, and it was worth it."
Neighbor helping neighbor, never expecting to be rewarded, just doing his part to Pay it 4Ward.