New 'Pay it Forward' initiative honors residents

Posted at 7:32 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 19:32:14-05

We all know some of the most generous people can often go overlooked and unthanked for the things that they do.

But one city is trying to change that and held a special assembly today to honor one local resident.

"I'm still, I'm just overwhelmed. I don't even know what to say, It's just you know, really, really a wonderful surprise," said Jeanie Utz, Streetsboro's first recipient of the Stand for Generosity initiative.

Dennis P. McMichael, project manager for the initative said, “We just want to give back to the community, that's it...there's so many people out there doing good things and they're not being recognized."

How it works is those in the community must keep their eye out for that special someone who's willing to stick their neck out for others.

"I nominated Jeanie because she is a person who exemplifies generosity of spirit,” said Angela Reker, one of Jeanie's friends. “She's a special education aide, she works for different teachers in the special education unit. She is always taking care of everyone else and never asking for recognition for it."

Not only is that special person given $500 for themselves, the other surprise awaiting them is that they're given an additional $500 to pay it forward to someone else in need.

“That won't be hard to do, cause there's so many people that unfortunately are in need of help," Utz said.

The long-term goal is that more cities can implement the idea.

“So our goal is every six months we'd like to do something...the hope is potentially do it all over Northeast Ohio if we can find enough sponsors that will come along with us," said McMichael.