Restaurant manager Pays it Forward for employees during pandemic​

Pay It 4ward

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – An old proverb says that every picture tells a story. This is the picture of a leader, a leader with a servant’s heart. These are pictures sent from server Shanna Sutterfeild who nominated Norman’s Neighborhood Jam manager Caleb Hill for Pay It Forward.

Bobby Burger with First Fidelity Bank says it’s a great nomination.

“So, I’m here to present for KFOR for Caleb on behalf of First Fidelity Bank $400. Here’s one, two, three and four, and we really appreciate what you’re doing,” says Burger.

So, I teamed up with Shanna and Michael Kraft of Hal Smith Restaurants to trick Caleb into a Zoom call which he thought was about the growing popularity of upscale breakfast restaurants.

“Just somewhere where they could grab a drink in the morning or maybe have a latte or food. They could probably get at dinner as far as quality goes,” says Michael about the industry.

Caleb chimes in, “We offer so many things however you want to do it. Honestly, we don’t care what you get, just come on in.”

Now it’s time to spring the surprise.

“Hey, look who just joined us. Shanna is here,” I say on our Zoom call.  “So, Caleb, Michael has put you through a little bit of a ruse here,” I say. “You are really here because Shanna has nominated you for our Pay It Forward award, which is an award we give out to folks who are doing nice things in their community and really touching other people’s lives where they are.” 

“So, Shanna, tell Caleb why you have nominated him for our Pay It Forward award.

Shanna says, “Well, we’ve had a rough year and we just want to thank you for always having the best attitude and being super understanding, and you’re just awesome, man! So we really appreciate it. So on behalf of First Fidelity Bank and News Channel 4, we are going to present you with $400!”

Photo goes with story
Caleb Hill hard at work.

Shanna tells me Caleb went above and beyond in helping his employees adjust to the financial strain the pandemic brought to the restaurant industry, and Caleb is truly surprised about the award.

“I don’t know what to say! You guys are punks!” says Caleb. “You’ve got me on TV doing all this. Thank you, Shanna, thank you, Michael, thank you, Kent!” 

“I guess nice guys don’t always finish last,” he says. “It’s easy to just open your heart up and let people in and everything that we’ve been though, the whole world, the whole county.”

“The last year…hey, you can complain or you can learn to deal, and us at Hal Smith and Jam, we have learned to deal and take care of our people throughout and this is a lot,” Caleb says “I don’t know. You guys got me.”

Michael responds, “You deserve it.”

Yes, you do, Caleb. So keep serving up the leadership, compassion and smiles as your way to Pay It Forward.

Nominate someone for Pay it 4Ward!

Pay It 4Ward is a program through which KFOR-TV viewers can help someone they know who could use extra cash immediately.

Each week someone will receive $400 cash because one of their friends or co-workers wants to “Pay It 4Ward.”

When nominating, make sure to include your name, daytime phone number, who you nominate and why. Please follow all the criteria when nominating. 

Email all that detailed information to us for it to be considered.

Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.

Click here for the rules for Pay it 4Ward 


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