A helping hand for the elderly

Charlie Hardin volunteers to maintain the marquee at Battlefield Baptist Church. (Image: Pam Massingale)

A simple act of kindness can go a long way, especially for the elderly who live alone and often need a helping hand.

In this week's Pay It Forward, Newschannel 9's Jessica Harthorn surprises a young man from North Georgia who is making sure his neighbors are well taken care of.

20 years ago, Charlie Hardin showed up to vacation bible school at Battlefield Baptist Church in Fort Oglethorpe.

Church members tell us he was a rambunctious kid with so much energy it often got him in to trouble.

But Charlie was accepted with open arms and now he's giving back to his church family and neighbors decades later.

It was pouring rain when we met Pam Massingale at Catoosa Gardens in Fort Oglethorpe.

But the mood was far from dampened as we got ready to surprise her friend Charlie Hardin.

"He is a wonderful young man and a good friend," said Massingale who nominated Charlie for Pay It Forward.

The manager, who was in on the surprise, came up with an excuse to call Charlie and his mother to the main office.

"Hey Darlene, yes, I need you and Charlie to come down here and sign some papers at the office," said the manager.

Moments later, Charlie walked through the pouring rain and opened the door to a room full of admirers.

"Hey Charlie, how are you? So as a recipient of Pay It Forward from Newschannel 9 and the McMahan Law Firm, you get 1, 2, 3, 4, $500!" surprised Pam.

"Oh wow!" said Charlie while his family applauded.

For several years, Charlie has been a shoulder to lean on for the elderly people at his apartment complex.

"Not only do they trust him, but he's their friend," said Pam.

He'll walk their dogs, gather their mail and weed their gardens, asking nothing in return.

"Your shirt says, 'Genius by birth, slacker by choice,' but your friends are telling me you're definitely not a slacker, you go above and beyond everyday. Why is that?" asked Newschannel 9's Jessica Harthorn.

"Just to give back to the elderly, because one day I will be old and I want someone to take care of me," answered Charlie.

Do you know someone who deserves $500 for helping the community? Nominate them here.

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