Peggy Ray, a Good Samaritan who made headlines for a selfless act last week, is now on the receiving end as well-wishers band together to repay her kindness.
Ray, 39, is the Marysville, Wash. mom who provided medical aid to an elderly couple involved in a serious traffic accident on the I-5 near the town of Everett on Saturday. When she returned to her car, she realized she'd left the doors unlocked and $900 in rent money she had just withdrawn from her bank was stolen.
According to Komo News, the $900 represented two weeks of work for the barista who supports six teenage kids.
"I was thinking it was going to catch fire. I was thinking we have to get those people out," Ray said about the car crash. "I would do it again tomorrow, in a year. I would do it again."
Ray's story has since touched the hearts of hundreds nationwide who have flooded her with thousands of dollars in donations.
"It's all just a little overwhelming," Ray told the Herald Business Journal.
On Tuesday, Everett battalion chief Matt Keller presented Peggy Ray with local donations, including $750 from the town's firefighters.
A police officer from Lynnwood, Bill Koonce, also took up a collection, gathering $350 in donations from fellow officers, bicycling friends and relatives.
"There are a lot of things that are bad out there," Koonce told the Herald Business Journal. "It's kind of pleasant when there is something you can do that does some good."
On Monday, a Seattle television station also gave Ray a check for nearly $3,800 it had collected in donations.
Nathan Ray, Peggy's husband, said his wife has always been one to quietly contribute her time and energy to help others.
"But it's a little hard to comprehend the outpouring of support now that she's on the receiving end," he told Komo News.
"She has done so much over the years for individuals and organizations, and that's one of the reasons that we are blown away by the response," he added. "It's one of those things where you give and receive with both hands."
Peggy is also having a hard time comprehending the extreme generosity complete strangers have shown her.
"We were wondering where are we going to be able to borrow the money to pay our rent," Peggy Ray told Komo News. "We weren't looking for any of this. There is a lot of good that has come out of all this."
The Rays have plans to donate the remainder of the money after they pay the rent. They have two causes in mind -- Rhema's Reality for Childhood Cancer Research and the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology.
"I told you that's why you don't stop helping people. You don't stop helping. You don't stop giving," Peggy said. "You just do what you can, 100 percent of the time... and look what happens," she told Komo.