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Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

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Pay it Forward - Chrissy Johnson

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 02:06 PM CDT
NICEVILLE, Fla. -- Channel 3 is again helping our viewers Pay it Forward. Our own Lena Deflores has been the bearer of good news with this series of stories.

The giving continues tonight as we highlight the generosity of the people in our community. 

It begins with a sign, $500 and our partner Hill-Kelly Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep. This time, I went to a shopping plaza in Niceville.

"Hello, would you be interested in $500 free dollars today?" "$500? No? $500?" "Free 500 dollars?"

I met lots of people, some interested, some not. "Perhaps I can interest you in some free money today? No? It must be me."
And once they learn that you can't keep the money for yourself and you can't give it to a relative or anyone who lives with you, giving away $500 gets a little harder.

But then I met Chrissy Johnson and her son Latham. Chrissy told me about her friend, Julie Steele.

Chrissy and Julie met at Eglin Air Force Base 6 years ago when their husbands were both serving in the Air Force.
The two quickly became each other's support while their husbands were deployed, helping with the kids and chores and the emotions that military spouses face when their loved ones are deployed.

"She came and washed my hair, she helped me so much." No strangers to Paying it Forward themselves. Julie and her husband John take volunteer regularly at their church and at PAWS Animal Shelter.

John has recently retired as an E-6 from the Air Force. As with many of our military members, john has had a hard time finding work.
Charissa wanted to give the couple $500 to say thank you for all they've done for their country and their community and to help make a rough time a little easier.

So, we called Miles Bentley with Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep ram and headed to where Julie works.

Once again, Miles and I were met with disbelief. "What have you done?"

Miles Bentley Paid it Forward to Chrissy. "I'd like to give this $500 to your friend on behalf of Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep to give your friend $500  that he can Pay it Forward to you."

And then "I just know you're having a tough time.  You started school and your husband's home with the kids and we could all use a little help.  Is that an angry cry or a happy cry?"

"I love you."

As you probably know by now, we love surprises and this time we got to give two. We couldn't wait for John to learn he and his wife had just received $500.

Charissa told us the best way to get John to come and see us was simply to say you needed his help.

""Hey John, it's Chrissy." "I have a flat tire." And sure enough, within minutes, John arrived.

His wife Julie told him about their friend's generosity and passed on a thank you for all he has done and continues to do to protect and help others.

"Well that's unexpected, pretty awesome." Through the shock and appreciation, John still had helping others on his mind.

He wanted to give a message to his military brothers and sisters currently deployed. "Just know that they're loved and people back home appreciate everything that they do."
After spending time with Julie and her husband and their friend, Chrissy, I  really got a Sense of how strong the military bond is not just between our service members but also their families.

We've loved hearing your stories of how you Pay it Forward in our community. Share your stories and ideas with us on our Facebook page. Log on at
A special thank you to our partner, Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep for making 'Pay it Forward' possible.
And be sure to keep an eye out for Lena and her sign as Channel Three continues to Pay it Forward.
Pay it Forward - Chrissy Johnson

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