OKLAHOMA CITY - Each week, we introduce you to some of the most giving Oklahomans, as we invite you along for First Fidelity Bank's Pay It 4Ward. It's not often, though, that a nominee turns the tables on us!
As we presented Gary Parker, owner of Parker Brothers Roofing, with $400 cash, he showed us what it really means to Pay It 4Ward.
"Well, I appreciate it, but we just do it, just to give back to the community," Parker said.
And, boy, does he give back.
Every Thursday for nearly a decade, Parker and his loyal staff have turned his company break room into a soup kitchen. Anyone who wants to eat is welcome.
Paulette Campbell met Parker through her business and has been stopping by for lunch every week for five years. She nominated him for Pay It 4Ward.
"He's a down home person, and he just treats people with respect and everybody's a friend. You feel like family when you meet him," Campbell said, amazed at Parker's generosity. "In today's economy, for a business to do something as consistent, every Thursday at noon, you are getting a four course meal, and they ask for nothing. Their employees are turned into the staff, and they wait on you hand and foot."
Paulette said the most remarkable thing is that Parker won't take any credit. He just welcomes friends, neighbors and anyone who wants a hot meal week after week.
As soon as Campbell and First Fidelity Bank's Cindy Stewart handed him the cash, Parker let go of it like a hot potato.
He immediately gave it to his employee, Jimmy, to put toward his company's food drive for the hungry. But, he didn't stop there.
Parker had been planning to surprise a family that stops by each week to eat with new windows for their damaged home. He invited us along as he gave them the good news.
"We want to let you know, today, that those windows are being given to you, with the installations," Parker said. "All your windows, not just the one's on the back, but all of them."
Sue Bridges was in tears.
"You're kidding? Oh my god!" she said.
Bridges and her husband had caulked all of their windows shut because they were in such bad shape. Now, they will be able to open their windows again.
"They're the best. That's all I got to say," said Bridges's husband, who was also moved to tears by Parker's kind act.
We were there to surprise him, but Parker showed us that every day is a good day to Pay It 4Ward.