Pay It Forward: Volunteers step up to help Serve DC shovel snow for elderly residents

Earlier this week, we kicked off a new station campaign we are calling “Pay It Forward.” It is all about people doing good things just because they are inspired to.

FOX 5’s Matt Ackland went out to a story on Wednesday that really resonated with many of our viewers and they actually got up to "Pay It Forward" on their own.

We went out to check on the snow and ice on the sidewalks in D.C. and found that many were still in desperate need of a shovel.

The problem is we have a lot of older people in the city and there is just no way they can handle shoveling their walks on their own.

We found a big need out there, and as it turns out, when people saw that need, they stepped up in a big way.

On Wednesday, we introduced you to Kenny Wright and his two sons, Kenny Jr. and Darrin. At first, the boys were not too happy about dad getting them out of bed to clear snow.

Their father said, “You enjoyed yesterday really good, so today we’re going to get out and do some work.”

80-year-old Sharon Abbot was sure glad to see them. She wasn’t sure how she would get the snow off her front steps without help.

“I think it's like an angel -- an angel just came through,” she said.

Jeffrey Richardson, who leads Serve DC, a District volunteer group, said after tweets were sent and our story aired asking for more volunteers, their website and phones lighted up.

“Thank you so much,” Richardson said. “Between the last 24 hours, we have had over 170 new volunteers sign up to be a part of the District’s snow team and support seniors and others who have access and functional needs.”

We are told many of those volunteers were immediately dispatched to areas in need: Wards 4, 7 and 8.

And others who signed up could be asked to volunteer on other projects in the future.

“There is a great need in our city for volunteers across issues to really support our community,” said Richardson. “And one, it’s about meeting an unmet need, but it’s also strengthening communities. Getting out and meeting our neighbors from across all sectors of our city.”

At first, Kenny and Darrin Wright may have resisted getting out of bed, but it looks like dad's lesson may have had a lasting impression.

“I feel appreciated because we’re in shape, we're fit and they are not -- you have to be able to give back,” said Kenny Jr.

“It's good that we’re helping other people when they can't come out and do this by themselves,” said Darrin.

If you would like to volunteer for the DC Citizen Snow Team, go to or call 202-727-0709.

We can't be everywhere to see all the great things that people do and this is where you come in. If you are inspired by someone because of what they do, but just because they do it, we want to know about it. We think they deserve a little attention, and we bet they will inspire others to do something great as well. It is all about paying it forward.

Go to our Pay It Forward page and you can nominate someone. Tell us a little bit about what they do and why they inspire you and others.

We may just do a story on them and help "Pay It Forward" across the area.

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