Mom and 15-year-old daughter serve veterans in different and special ways

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Heroes come in all ages, genders and generations. Their victories in life can be as varied as a world war, beating a deadly disease or simply overcoming the often unmindful status quo of today’s society. And you’re about to meet all three. Join News 4 and First Fidelity as we Pay It Forward.

Now in their 80’s and 90’s, there are not many World War II veterans with us today. A picture within a picture captures images of the same hero – then and now. That is something time will never touch. Jessie Newell captured these images. She took them all free of charge. It is her way of saying thank you. But her talents capture even more journeys than the ones you see here including a brave boy named Trevor. Trevor’s mom explains.

"It was the second time he had cancer, and we wanted to document it,” Zona Storie said. “What I really wanted was to get a picture of him with his bald head, because he's my bald headed hero."

And with the same grateful lens she uses to photograph veterans she documented Trevor’s journey, too. But there’s yet another set of young eyes watching – Jessie’s 15-year-old daughter, Emerson. Emerson puts together gift baskets for veterans in the hospital. The apple didn’t fall far from this tree. Zona nominated Emerson for Pay It Forward.

"We just think it great what Emerson is doing for the veterans in our community,” Nova Kay of First Fidelity Bank said. “Jessie really exemplifies a servants heart. So it is my honor of behalf of First Fidelity Bank to present you with four hundred dollars to pay it forward."

While Emerson is inside her school talking about her cause, we are outside getting ready to surprise her.

"So you guys have organized this to give her an opportunity to speak, but really it's to surprise her."
"OK. We're going to follow you inside."

"Emerson. I'm Zona Story, and this is Trevor Story, and we are here with News 4 for Pay It Forward to present four hundred dollars for your cause."

"Jessie does so much for veterans that she's passed it on to Emerson, and we wanted to get you the four hundred dollars to donate. So we nominated you, and you were selected."

Why does this family do what they do?

"My grandpa was a veteran. My father in law is a veteran. We have veterans all in our lives now. I actually do portraits of veterans complimentary to world war II veterans,” Emerson’s mother, Jessie Newell, said. “So we have them at our house all the time, and I want Emerson to know that her generation is going to be responsible for helping take care of them when they can no longer take care of themselves."

She knows alright. Emerson is already taking responsibility, and she’s not even out of high school.

"I just make time. I have a lot going on, but this is one of the more important things,” she said.
"Are you nervous or surprised?”

“I'm really nervous."

She may be nervous, but her actions are speaking louder than any words.

"Making these baskets is a chance for her generation to stand up and show these veterans that they still honor and respect them,” Jessie Newell said.

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