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Pay It Forward

With tears of joy, she accepts the title of "Pay It Forward" winner and the check from Rochester State Bank that goes with it. So much has driven Vanessa Tyus to this point.


"She's just a wonderful, terrific person to work for. She's got love and compassion for others in her heart," Tyus' friend Yvonne Simpson said.


Simpson wrote the winning nomination. She and Tyus have worked together for three years at New Directions Warming and Cooling Shelter for the Homeless.


"She says the door's open. If I can help you, tell me . I'm here and If I've got it I'll give it to you," Simpson said of Tyus.


When New Directions was little more than an idea in her head, Tyus left her job in Springfield and moved back to Jacksonville to open the shelter. She was out finding a place for a homeless man to sleep- when her own home burned down. For three months Tyus-who's also a foster mom-lived in a Jacksonville hotel room with six children.


"I did not have a job at all and so I just begin to ask God-you know why would you do this? And he just told me that I had to live homeless first so I can be able to relate to the men and women that walk through this door," Tyus said.


That obedience, that humility is what makes her all the more remarkable. She's passed on the goodwill to so many others. Now we-and Rochester State Bank-- "Pay It Forward".

Pay It Forward: Vanessa Tyus

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