Paying it Forward at Harrisburg’s Bethesda Mission

A line of people waited outside of the Bethesda Mission’s Youth Center in Harrisburg Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, inside, volunteers got food bags ready to hand out with all of the trimmings for Christmas dinner, a turkey or a ham and even warm coats, hats and gloves for those who need them.

“They do appreciate being able to get this,” said Deb King, the mission’s volunteer coordinator. “And at Christmas right now, they get hams, so that’s really a nice gift for them. So it’s great that we’re able to do that.”

FOX43 approached Stephanie Davis, who was in line with her three grandchildren and asked to tag along as they got their food and picked out some new coats.

“Sometimes with the way the economy is today, a lot of people need help and they were there for us,” Davis said.

Little did she know, she was about to get a little something extra. That’s when our crew surprised  her with $100.

“Oh my word!” Davis said.

But we weren’t finished there. We went back to the line to find another person to surprise. We found Ken Marlow with his cart, waiting to bring home food to his two grandchildren.

“I’ve got a little boy and a little girl, 9 and 16 months old,” he said.

Every year, you can find Marlow at the Bethesda Mission’s food giveaway, taking in the kindness and generosity of the holiday spirit.

“If it weren’t for people like that, I’d be in world of trouble,” Marlow said.

We then surprised Marlow with an envelope with $100 and he thanked us over and over again. When we asked him what he plans to use the money for, he replied,

“For my two grandchildren, to buy Christmas gifts.”

Davis said she plans to do the same.