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Man 'pays it forward' to children by being their go-to-guy
Every week in February WEAR along with Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram "Pays it Forward" giving $500 dollars to someone who "Pays it Forward" every day in their own lives. This week's recipient is Mike Lewis.
Everyone knows him as Mr. Mike. By everyone, we actually mean the most important group, little ones between the ages of one and five. They know Mike is the best "high five giver" at Okaloosa County Headstart.
He can barely get out of a classroom without them surrounding him.
He said, "These kids make my day, they all waiting on me and calling 'Mr. Mike, Mr. Mike.'"
His colleague, Deidre Felix said, "He stops what he's doing and gives each one a high five. He makes each child in the center feel special and acknowledged."
Okaloosa County Headstart is a preschool program for low to middle income families. Mr. Mike is their custodian.
Felix said, "No matter what you ask, trash bags, boxes, he'll get it for you."
He's gone through a tough time recently. He had to find a new place to live, his car broke down, and he recently started caring for his nephew.
"Been all kind of tough times going on in my family and in my world."
That's why Deidre nominated him for "Pay it Forward." He was truly baffled when we surprised him.
Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram gave $500 to Deidre to pay forward to Mike. He plans on using the money to fix his truck. He's a big believer in the idea of paying it forward, especially when it comes to children.
It doesn't take much, and it always comes back around
"You gotta love the children because they are the ones that will take care of us." said Mike.