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In the past nine years, Pay It Forward, sponsored by the McMahan Law Firm, has highlighted the good deeds of nearly 500 Tennessee Valley residents and awarded these individuals with nearly a quarter of a million dollars, one story at a time, $500 at a time. (Pay It Forward is the neighbor-helping-neighbor feature that airs each Monday night at 6 p.m. on WTVC NewsChannel 9.)

The initiative celebrated its ninth anniversary by recognizing the work of Janaria McIntosh, who provides free haircuts as part of her volunteer work with Grace Pointe Church. The first and third Saturday of each month, McIntosh cuts students' hair at Hardy Elementary School. Over the past three years, her personal ministry has grown so much she has gotten support from her students at Chattanooga State Community College, where she teaches barbering. Chattanooga State recently honored Janaria with a Teaching Excellence Award — Technical College.

"Think about it. There is so much negative in the world today, and the people that Pay It Forward honors get up each day with the thought of doing something to help someone else. Imagine if we all did that," Jay Kennamer, partner at McMahan Law Firm, said.

Mike Costa

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