Paying it Forward in Lebanon

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This week, FOX43’s Pay it Forward crew headed to the city of Lebanon.

We eventually found Sherry Owens, Director of Programs at the Martin Luther King Family Life Center in Lebanon. Owens said she knew a single mom who could really use a $200 boost.

“She became homeless around Christmas Eve, either the day before Christmas Eve or actually on Christmas Eve,” Owens said. “She’s a single parent and currently cares for her four children,
four boys actually and they’re all very beautiful, very smart kids.”

Yveliz Cortes lost her job in August and has struggled to stay afloat ever since. She came to the Martin Luther King Family Life Center for help.

“The main thing is like I said, is to get them somewhere where they’re warm and safe and out of harm’s way,” Owens said. “She’s going through a little transition, it’s just a bumpy patch, not a way of life. Once she gets herself back together and back on her feet, I think she’ll do well.”

We followed Owens to a home where Cortes and her kids are staying with a friend.

“Very surprised! Thank you Sherry!” Cortes said after Owens presented her with the gift of $200.

Cortes is adding the $200 to the money she’s saving to rent a home for her four rambunctious sons, who are eight, seven, six and five years old.

“It’s a struggle, day by day,” Cortes said. “It’ll all work out though, by the grace of God.”

The Cortes family is starting from scratch and will need furniture, housewares are more. The Martin Luther King Family Life Center in Lebanon is accepting donations of their behalf. To find out how to help, you can call the center at (717) 272-8000 or e-mail


  • Dr. Marvin S. McCoy

    I dare say that the members of the MLK Center are genuine people of IMPACT. They are Individually Motivated People Attacking Challenges Together. We’ve got to get other to join in these endeavors and assist those who are in real need. This a hand up not a handout.

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