WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI) — What started off as a way to pay it forward, turned into something bigger. Local business owner Kate Sausa just wanted to help a friend.
''My friend John Goodman was my best friend,” said Owner of Kate’s Kauz and Klozet Kate Sausa Bless his heart rest in peace he just passed away last month. “But he had no place to go and was homeless on the streets of Downtown Lafayette''
Kate was determined to do something in order to help. So she and John started discussing a way to help others in the community. Expecting to make a change, another change took over. John Goodman, a veteran of the United States Army was diagnosed with lung cancer and then began treatment.
''A year ago last, I believe it was July,” said Sausa “He had two-thirds of a lung removed''
And just like that, it felt like three steps forward were taken, then suddenly knocked, three steps back.
''A few months after the lung was removed he was told he had three brain tumors,” said Sausa
John Goodman passed away on January 19th of this year after battling cancer, but Kate kept true to their promise, to give back and pay it forward.
''We wanted to make a non-judgmental group,” said Sausa “A non-discriminating group that people would feel comfortable posting and ask for things''
And that's exactly what she did. Kate created her own donation group by the name of Kate's Kauz, and Kate's Klozet. Both with a "k", for uniqueness. With all of the donations Kate received. She needed a way to give it all back. So she found one.
''I was at the sweeps pantry that the First Baptist Church used to offer,” said Sausa
From there, Kate introduced herself to Steven Riggs who was on the chair board for First Baptist Church. She started participating in the Hygiene Pantry and now donations are given to those in need. She continues though, to keep Jon in mind.
''He would have been so happy to see this, in fact, I know he is”
The Hygiene Pantry takes place at First Baptist Church every second Thursday of the month.