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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – KFOR and First Fidelity Bank are honoring a woman who has turned personal loss into a tremendous blessing for those who are at the end of their lives.

For 22 years, Debbie Bunch has been caring for littles ones and serving the community in Mustang.

She is living the legacy started by her mother, affectionately known as “Nana.”

“Nana was all about spreading joy and kindness,” said Bunch’s neighbor, LeeAnn Stockton.

Nana died last year after a battle with colon cancer.

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In her last days, she was soothed by scented candles.

Her daughter Debbie now makes scented candles and donates the profits to hospice.

“She has the biggest heart of anybody I’ve ever met,” Stockton said. 

“We are so thankful, LeeAnn, that you nominated your friend for Pay It Forward,” said First Fidelity Bank’s Dawnetta Moore as she handed Stockton $400 cash.

Bunch is also the founder of the Mustang Pay It Forward Exchange, where residents share their wealth, coordinating porch drop-offs, blessing their neighbors in many ways.

“I live in Mustang. I grew up in Mustang. I am a bank officer in Mustang,” Moore said. “I think it’s such a great idea that she came up with that. Everybody in the community can help each other. That’s really what our community is about. I’m so thankful I get to meet her in person.”

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Debbie receiving a warm embrace.

Debbie Bunch was surprised when the News 4 team arrived at Deb’s Lil Darlins Daycare.

“I think it’s more important to teach them about kindness and being a good human than it is about ABCs to be honest,” Bunch said.

She is giving back every day to the young students inside the walls of her home daycare and the community on the outside.

Bunch named her candle company ‘Mama Tried’ for her single mother who raised two kids to believe their wealth would come from giving back.

“I like to give back in my mom’s memory because my mom was a single mom, and we didn’t have much growing up,” she remembered. “I just want to pay forward what people gave to us because we had many many people help us growing up. I want to be that light. I don’t want my mom’s memory to die.”

Debbie Bunch will use her $400 Pay It Forward award to upgrade her equipment, so she can make more candles, serve more people and shed more light.

Mama Tried Candles

Mustang Pay It Forward Exchange

Nominate someone for Pay it 4Ward! Fill out this form with as much detail as possible.

Pay it 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.