PAULS VALLEY, Okla. - It’s the Oklahoma Standard: Coming together and giving friends, neighbors, even strangers a helping hand when they need it.
Some people do it by pulling over to help someone broken down on the side of the road, while others lend a few bucks here and there.
There’s more than one way to live up to that tall order.
One guy who’s doing it is Greg Manning in Pauls Valley.
He proves every day that the Oklahoma Standard is alive and well, especially after tornados, thunderstorms, and floods tore through our state.
"When the storms hit a couple weeks ago, my parents ended up with a huge- basically- tree in their front porch going in the front door,” Amie Lampkin, who nominated Greg for the First Fidelity Bank Pay It 4Ward Award, explained.
When our crew visited Amie’s neighborhood, it became clear that nearly everyone on the street had been affected with knocked down trees and branches everywhere.
But for Amie Lampkin’s parents, who live a few doors down from Greg, the problem was solved fast.
“While they had gone just to check on some things,” Amie explained. “They showed back up and Greg and his wife had it cut up and were putting it up, and they do that kind of thing all the time.”
That “let’s get it done” attitude is why Amie nominated Greg for the award.
The effects of the severe weather in May and June are immediately clear when you enter the neighborhood, but Greg had gotten a good start on the job.
Everywhere we looked, there were neat piles of rubbish left behind by the storms on the street in front of people’s homes.
Those neat piles were the work of none other than Greg, who had taken his own time to gather it all up and put out for pick-up.
Moments later, we meet Amie, who was overjoyed to get the money given to us by First Fidelity Bank for Greg.
“This is an opportunity to just pay him back because he never lets anybody pay him back,” Amie said. “And this is just an opportunity for everybody to recognize how wonderful he is.”
Amie nearly broke down in tears and she told Greg she’d nominated him for the Pay It 4Ward Award.
“I just want to thank you for everything you do,” Amie said. “I know it gives Bethany some security knowing you’re right down the street from mom and dad. But you don’t just do it for them. You do it for everybody, always with a smile on your face. And we want to make sure you know you’re appreciated and we know you wouldn’t accept it any other way.”
Greg played it cool, not showing too much emotion but clearly moved that Amie had thought of him.
“No problem at all,” Greg said as Amie thanked him for helping out. “I enjoy doing it. Thank you. That’s awesome.”
Greg is a high school football coach, and that position puts him in a spot to be a role model for the next generation.
That’s actually how he learned to help others out himself.
“Kind of the way I was raised,” Greg said. “We drove by eight years ago and he was mowing with a lawnmower that wasn’t working very good,” Greg said of Amie’s father, “and ever since then, I told him I’d take care of it, and just like to help people out when we can.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
Greg Manning, the salt of the earth and just a stone’s throw away in Pauls Valley.
We thank you for proving there are still people out there you can count on.
Pay It Forward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.