SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) - The Ben Sanford Boys and Girls Club in Scottsboro is a busy place these days. One parent in particular is especially grateful for the club and its director, James Allen.
Brittinny Smith Utech sent us an email, that reads in part:
"James Allen is such a loving, caring person. He takes care of children in our community with tons of different stuff for them to do each day. They love him and would love for you to pick him for Pay it Forward!"
WHNT NEWS 19 dropped in one day to do just that.
Allen had no idea we were coming. The expression on his face when we walked in the door made that pretty obvious.
After getting an unexpected $319, Allen was excited and so were the kids.
"Thank you, thank you," said Allen repeatedly, as he accepted the money.
After the shock wore off, the kids went back to their activities and there are plenty of them - video games, pool, foosball, air hockey, board games and a computer lab.
The Ben Sanford unit is the only Boys and Girls Club in Jackson County. On average, 60 kids are there each day. Allen has been the director since it opened 13 years ago and says they aim to provide a safe alternative.
When asked about his commitment to the club, Allen simply responded, "I just want to give back to my community."
Allen and several volunteers also make sure the children have fun.
"We do field trips, Zumba and teach them about drugs and alcohol prevention," says Allen. "We just have a number of programs."
And those programs are obviously making a difference. Allen says he'll likely use the Pay it Forward money on snacks or a fun activity for the kids.