Pay it forward

Published 11:50 am Saturday, August 15, 2009

For the second time week in a row I’ve had the chance of meeting another Roanoke-Chowan area teen who undoubtedly has a bright future.

Last week, I wrote about Eric Worrell of Colerain, who recently earned Eagle Scout, the top rank in the Boy Scouting program. This week I wrote about Stevie Mizelle, yet another well-grounded young man.

And what I found while writing this story was not only the kind of generosity Stevie exhibited, but the generosity his actions inspired.

Stevie may look familiar to many of our regular readers. In June, the 16-year-old showed his 1,205-pound steer named Bando at the Hertford-Northampton Livestock Show. Stevie, a senior novice involved with Hertford County 4-H, nabbed the top prize, Grand Champion.

He could have received more than $900 by selling Bando at the auction that followed, but instead the teen decided to have the steer help a group of children 714 miles away. Stevie decided to donate 600 pounds of meat (along with 900 ears of corn) to Adullam House.

If you know nothing about Adullam House, I first suggest that you get on the Internet and look up their website ( and learn what they are all about. For those of you who do not have Internet access, I’ll try my best to explain what they do.

Adullam House was started by Pete and Angie Spackman and is located in Wetumpka, Ala. on 18 acres of land. The ministry provides children (most whose mothers are incarcerated) with a safe home and a Christian education. Currently, 30 children call Adullam House home. It runs completely on donations with no government help.

A while ago, I watched this movie called “Pay it Forward.” It was about a little boy who started a “movement” of sorts by doing a good deed for a stranger and telling him to “pay it forward.”

One thing that has been lost in this rough, dog-eat-dog world is the knowledge that kindness has a ripple effect.

Adullam House inspired Stevie to do something generous and Stevie inspired a local business to do the same.

Upon hearing about Stevie’s kindness, Eddie Harrell’s Auto and Sports Store along with help from Almo (a Frigidaire distributor) worked to provide the teen a freezer to help ship the meat to the orphanage and, to boot, the owners threw in $100 for travel expenses when Stevie and his dad, Steven, make the trip in September.

It’s rare to find a teen like Stevie who is willing to take money he could have used for a frivolous spending spree or even towards college expenses and instead spend it on others who desperately need it. But we are lucky to have such a young man here among us in the Roanoke-Chowan area.

There is nothing like good old fashioned kindness. So I hope you are inspired by Stevie and his story or perhaps the kindness a stranger has shown to you.

Go ahead now and pay it forward.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.