HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) - First responders help us when we need it, whether it’s paramedics, law enforcement officers or firefighters. What happens when they need help? A special group, called Thin Line Support, steps in during those difficult times.
Two people nominated Thin Line Support founders, Mark and Kathy Hooper. Melody Harwell met them after her husband, a firefighter, was in a car accident. Brent Beavers, a former Madison County Sheriff's Deputy, had two encounters with them.
“Kathy and Mark just always seem to go above and beyond to do for other people,” says Harwell. “They paid it forward to me a couple of weeks ago and I would just like to the same for them in return."
“I met them from my shooting and house fire,” explains Beavers. “They’ve been best friends of the family since. They are the most selfless people I know.”
The three of us met in Hazel Green to surprise the Hoopers at the storage facility where they keep donated items for first responders in need.
When Kathy Hooper saw our cameras, she said, “I can tell you’re up to no good."
Actually, we're up to something really good - recognition and a reward for their hard work.
“We want to make sure you know how much you’re loved and that you’re a blessing to so many people,” said Beavers as he presented the Hoopers with $319.
Kathy Hooper responded by saying, “Y’all are going to make me cry.”
The Hoopers humbly accepted the Pay it Forward cash.
“We’re not out here to make a name for ourselves,” says Mark Hooper. “Because of me getting sick, her getting hurt, we’re just paying it forward.”
“Everyone came to our aid when we needed it,” says Kathy Hooper.
They plan to put the money to good use, continuing to help first responders whether it be in a crisis situation or an everyday need.
“When there’s a need that is involving a first responder, we can get to them,” says Kathy Hooper. “We recently had someone who needed a hospital bed. Someone else needed a wheelchair. Another person needed a walker and we got it."
As the Thin Line Support mission statement says, they're sitting on "ready go". The Hoopers describe Thin Line support as a grassroots effort. Every donation is distributed to local first responders who need assistance following a fire, natural disaster, or injury. Their names and information are kept private.
To find out more information about how to help or if you need assistance, click here.