Paying it Forward: Seminole County firefighters buy gift cards from restaurants for those in need

Firefighters in Seminole County are paying it forward after being on the receiving end of generosity themselves during this pandemic. 

Several restaurants donated meals to the first responders, thanking them for being on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19. The firefighters are now returning the favor, buying gift cards from the same restaurants and then giving them to those in need.

"As soon as I saw the email about this idea, our whole crew were all in. We jumped in on it," said Seminole County Fire Department Lt. Jeff Vining.  "Give back to some of the folks that live in Seminole County that may not be able to afford food and may not be able to work and provide as much as they normally can."

"What a great way to pay it forward, because it’s benefitting our families. It's helping our restaurants and the boosting of our local economy," said The Sharing Center CEO Nina Yon.

The Sharing Center is doling them out to folks who really could use a nice meal out.

"I work in the restaurant industry. I haven’t worked in eight weeks, so it’s def impacted us so we’ve just been home, staying home. Daddy works and we play," said Kira Grant, who received one of the gift cards.

Restaurants helping responders helping families help restaurants, a circle of generosity and community.