This week’s Pay It Forward is the epitome of what we set out to do when we started our program: Recognize those people who go out of their way to help others without expecting anything in return.
It’s not about people who are in need, but people who take care of other people in need.
Grace Westlake nominated Jeff Ernest because, despite being disabled, he takes care of all the people on their street. He rides around in a golf cart because he has a very bad back and can barely stand, but he still does home repairs and he and his wife Melinda are constantly cooking for all the neighbors. Grace says anytime Jeff sees one of the neighbors out, he stops to talk and offers to help in anything they are doing.
Jeff does this despite facing his fourth back surgery on January 10th. He wears a leg brace and has rods in his back so whatever he does, he has to be sitting or laying down. Grace says Jeff even helped her put up a fence by laying on the ground to wire the fence to the poles.
Jeff uses a golf cart to get around the neighborhood and will use it to carry his neighbors’ garbage cans and to even walk his dog.
When Grace presented Jeff with the Pay It Forward money he responded with this; “I wish y’all wouldn’t do this, there’s other people out there that needs this worse than I do, I’m just being neighborly, if everybody would do that, it would be a whole lot better world.”
Jeff is hoping his upcoming surgery will make it possible for him to do even more for folks.
Jeff’s wife, Melinda, puts it all in perspective. “It makes him feel warm and fuzzy inside to know he’s out helping other people, he lives to help other people, that’s just it.”
If you know of anyone that is deserving of a Pay It Forward.. click here to send in a nomination.