BINGHAMTON, NY- This week’s Remarkable Woman went from taking care of her daughter every waking minute, to giving back to the community.

NewsChannel 34’s Jackie Gillis shows us how she took a negative situation, and turned it positive.

Lenette and Bob Norris’ life would never be the same from the moment they learned that their 17 year old daughter, Sara, had gotten into a car accident back in 2001. Sara was able to pull through but she ended up being quadriplegic, unable to move from the shoulders down.

“I always told her, we can all feel sorry for ourselves but there’s nothing to be gained by that, lets make the best of it and move forward and that’s exactly what she did,” says Norris.

Lenette quit her job and spent 3 months in Philadelphia learning how to care for her daughter at home. Upon returning home, the community got together and remolded their home so they were able to better assist Sara in whatever she needed, which is something Lenette will always be thankful for.

“Its never been about me. Its always been about Sara’s legacy, her love for children and us giving back to the community because without them, we would have never had that house, we would never have been able to take care of her. We would had to have put her in a nursing home, so since that day we became very community oriented as a way to say thank you,” says Norris.

Lenette made sure Sara lived as normal of a life as she could, she graduated High School and even attended her prom and spent some time volunteering at Calvin Coolidge. Lenette cared for her everyday for 14 years until her passing in 2015.

“To keep Saras memory alive and her love for the children was our way of paying it forward to the community, cause the holidays are very tough, so seeing people smile- it makes me emotional, making other people smile. So, that’s what it is,” says Norris.

After her passing, Lenette got busy and started giving back. Since Sara had a love for teaching, she started a memorial fund at Calvin Coolidge where each year students write an essay on ways they showed kindness. Similarly, there is a scholarship fund at Binghamton High School where students write an essay and the winner gets 1000 dollars.

“To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t this aware of things, until Saras accident, and then it does give you a different perspective. How blessed we really were, we still were blessed but now we’re trying to share those blessings with others,” says Norris.

Lenette currently works as a teacher’s aid at Benjamin Franklin Elementary in Binghamton. There, she helped develop the Share A Little Niceness program, which donates money to teachers to help cover some of their out of pocket expenses. Melissa Ryder is a Kindergarten teacher at Franklin.

“She’s just amazing with children, she has been working in our school and she really gives back to the kids too. She brings in a lot of resources and clothing and food for the kids and just a lot of joy in our classroom,” says Ryder.

Lenette has stayed as positive as she could throughout the years, writing an inspirational message on Facebook every morning, hoping that if someone struggling sees it, it’ll turn their day around.

“Hug your kids a little tighter, maybe say I love you a little bit more because tomorrow is not promised to anybody and we’re forever changed. We have good days, bad days, but so does everybody else,” says Norris.

Lenette strives to make each day a little better. In Binghamton, Jackie Gillis NewsChannel 34.

You can learn more about our Remarkable Women series and see past honorees in the Community section of Binghamton Homepage dot com.

NewsChannel 34 will also broadcast an hour-long Remarkable Women special on Sunday April 17th at 1pm.