TACOMA, Wash. - A retired Air Force sergeant made a difference in the life of a Tacoma woman on Monday.
Carlton Williams hit a $24,000 jackpot at a local casino on Friday.
The next night, he saw a KIRO 7 Eyewitness News story about a Tacoma cancer patient who was robbed of her daughter's Christmas gift money.
"My heart just broke," Williams said.
Debbie Beck was robbed at knifepoint in her own driveway in South Tacoma last week.
The robber took her wallet, with $300 inside. Beck had planned to use the money to pay for Christmas presents for her 7-year-old daughter, J'Shayna.
Beck is going through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer and has another cancerous tumor on her side.
"My life's just been kinda tired," she said.
Beck said that it has been difficult to talk to J'Shayna about the robbery.
"She told me I could use her pennies so I could go buy her Christmas," Beck said. "I said, 'J'Shayna, you don't have to use your pennies. We'll get you Christmas.'"
On Monday, Williams stepped in to make that happen. "It's my honor," he said as he handed Beck $2,000. "God is good."
Williams said that, throughout his life, people have given to him in times of need. Now, he is "paying it forward."
Beck said that with the money, she will be able to buy a special stuffed bear J'Shayna wants for Christmas.
She also plans to use Williams' generosity to pay it forward as well. "Oh, I'm going to help," she said. "Anybody who needs any help, I'm gonna help 'em."
Williams, who works in transportation and parking at Sea-Tac Airport, also gave some money to family and friends who needed a financial boost.