Dozens of free lunches in Toledo today thanks to Pay it Forward program

Published: Dec. 16, 2016 at 4:45 PM EST
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In this season of giving, a local bank is helping spread a lot of Christmas kindness. First Federal has a Pay it Forward program, and today it was put into action here in Toledo.

They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but today there really were a lot of free lunches handed out It's all thanks to the kindness of a Swanton woman and First Federal.

Santa, Mrs. Claus and their helper Cheryl Chapa were serving up plenty of holiday cheer today, "I am like a little kids at Christmas. I just love it!"

First Federal asked the community to come up with ways to Pay it Forward and then brought some of the ideas to life. Cheryl came up with the idea to surprise people with a free lunch .

Thanks to a $500 grant from First Federal, she put her plan into action today at the Bob Evans on Central Avenue.They surprised everyone from members of the military to seniors. Cheryl says the seniors have a special place in her heart, "I have always felt seniors made this country. They have given up so much, and they truly make the world go round."

There were a number of other individuals and organizations that received grant money to do good around the region. The bank's 600 employees were also given cash to help others. Dirk VanHeyst is a Senior Vice President at First Federal,"We give each one $10 to Pay it Forward. Some pool their money together, others do it themselves. We truly try to make a difference in the community." Cheryl says that certainly happened today,"I am loving every minute of this. There was a lady in tears when we paid her bill. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. I love it."